Ricciardo: McLaren easier to drive than Renault

Daniel Ricciardo says McLaren‘s car seems easier to drive when pushing to the limit in qualifying, compared to what he is experiencing in the Renault.

Renault began 2019 hoping to close the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, having finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last season.

However, the French team has gone backwards and will likely end the season in fifth behind McLaren, who take power units from Renault to further highlight the Enstone outfit’s deficiencies.

And Ricciardo says that the RS19’s delicate nature I a key difference-maker.

“If I watch the onboards, I do feel like if I look at McLaren they seem to be able to get the lap time out of the car a bit easier,” he said.

“Let’s say that window we talk of seems slightly wider for them, and I think that’s why in quali we’re not really always able to extract maybe the most out of it.

“In short, it’s probably easier for us to make a mistake, or to get the set-up spot on, but then in the race once everything kind of, the pace comes off and you’re not on the limit of the tyre really the whole race.

“I think our window expands naturally for the pace, and I think that’s why we’re able to maybe come back a little bit towards them.”

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says that McLaren’s chassis has played the key role in the disparity between engine manufacturer and customer.

“It is a fact that McLaren has done a better car, a better chassis than we have,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “I am not ashamed of fighting against McLaren. They are still a fantastic team and a great name in F1.”