While his former employers were able to maintain their winning potential amid a switch to Honda, Ricciardo ended his maiden season as a Renault driver without a podium, something he had not had to countenance since his Toro Rosso days – oh, and they got two podiums this year!
GPFans scored ratings for every driver in all 21 races this year, with Ricciardo certainly failing to hit the heights of previous campaigns in the Red Bull.
Here’s how we scored and reviewed Ricciardo in every grand prix in 2019.
GPFans Driver Index: 12th
Average score: 5.9
High: 8 (Canada)
Low: 4 (Germany, Hungary)
Australian GP (Qual: 12th – Race: DNF) 5/10
Five hundredths of a second away from making Q3, Ricciardo could have done with the extra metres on the grid as a skirt around Sergio Perez put him onto the grass and saw his car shed its front wing, and suffer ultimately terminal damage, before Turn 1.
Daniel Ricciardo (Qual: 10th-Race: DNF) 6/10
Not the ideal start for Ricciardo with his new team, as two DNFs is all he has to show so far. A bold one-stopper could have paid off if he’d had a clean race, but contact with Hulkenberg put paid to that. His Renault gave up mysteriously on the same lap as teammate to cause the race-ending Safety Car
Chinese GP (Qual: 7th – Race: 7th) 6/10
Solid, unspectacular and exactly what Ricciardo will have wanted after consecutive DNFs to start his Renault career. With the top three well out of reach this weekend, ‘best of the rest’ will do nicely.
Azerbaijan GP (Qual: 12th – Race: DNF) 6/10
Having struggled through the weekend, Ricciardo looked to have worked his way back into contention for a points finish. To see that extinguished by a lock-up while fighting Daniil Kvyat and then reversing into the Toro Rosso, having failed to check his mirrors, serves as an unfortunate summary of his Renault career to date.
Spanish GP (Qual: 10th – Race: 12th) 5/10
Dropped three spots on the grid after his embarrassing crash with Daniil Kvyat in Azerbaijan. Was freed by the team to pass Hulkenberg and have a crack at those ahead, which shows he was at least the quicker Renault driver.
Monaco GP (Qual: 7th – Race: 9th) 5/10
Benefitted from Grosjean’s error to score a couple of points but that was scant consolation for the Australian, who might have had hopes of finishing fifth after getting by Magnussen at Turn 1 on the opening lap. Ricciardo later admitted he was concerned for his race as soon as he was called in, and it turned out those fears were justified as he dropped way down the order.
Canadian GP (Qual: 4th – Race: 6th) 8/10
A supreme performance in qualifying that begins to show glimpses of what Renault got for their money. Ricciardo held up Valtteri Bottas for a number of laps with some tough defence, although he still finished a lap down, showing the imbalance in F1 today.