The signing of Ricciardo was accompanied by team principal Cyril Abiteboul targeting a move towards the top three in F1 this season, but the team finished fifth in the constructors’ standings, slipping below McLaren and ending the year 326 points behind third-placed Red Bull.
The previous season, Ricciardo won two grands prix with Red Bull – in China and Monaco – but bizarrely did not finish on the podium in another race and ended the year with more DNFs than any driver on the grid, feeding the frustrations which prompted the Australian’s move to Renault.
Ricciardo told ‘Beyond the Grid’ of his maiden campaign with Renault: “Definitely no more frustrating than last year, 2018 was frustrating, that was my most frustrating year I would say.
“It started so promising and then it just never really got going for the most part after that and I felt like most of the time it was things out of my control and that was the most frustrating.
“If it was me making 90 per cent of the mistakes then I could have addressed that and looked at myself in the mirror and figured out what to do better.
“I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I felt like more times than not it was out of my control and that was the frustration.
“This year, yeah we haven’t had great results all the time and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs again but I think it was more my expectation of this year was not as high as it would have been last year with Red Bull.
“I didn’t really set any ‘OK if were not fifth by X race then I’m going to be feeling like this’. I knew it was always going to be work to do so I didn’t let the result get the better of me.”