Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

‘Same crap’ can’t keep Ricciardo down

F1 star Daniel Ricciardo has urged Renault to finish the season on a high after he bounced back from a series of ugly results by crossing the line sixth at the Japanese Grand Prix.

In a disappointing debut season with the French outfit, Ricciardo is ninth in the drivers' standings - one spot ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg - while Renault is fifth in the constructors' championship.

The last race at Suzuka ended brightly for Ricciardo after another underwhelming weekend looked to be on the cards. He started the race in 16th after a suspension issue crippled his qualifying run but he bounced back admirably to mow down the field and pick up some points in the main event.

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The Aussie could have been forgiven for thinking the worst when he suffered more mechanical dramas after he was forced to retire in the preceding Russian Grand Prix.

But after retiring twice and finishing 14th three times in his past six races, coming sixth in Japan was a rare bright spot in what's been a gloomy year.

"Certainly (after qualifying) I was thinking, 'Same kind of crap' and that we can't really get a break with issues and whatever," Ricciardo said. "But I feel like we finally got a result we deserve.

"We've got back-to-backs (races) coming up now, some fun ones. So hopefully we can get a string of points finishes and try to just get something for the team.

"We get there, and then we drop, kind of the heads drop a bit, and we're trying to get back up. So just for everyone's sake we need to try to keep some positivity before the year is out."

Daniel Ricciardo wants to keep the positivity flowing.
Daniel Ricciardo wants to keep the positivity flowing.

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have healthy leads atop the drivers' and constructors' championships respectively and while silverware is out of the question for Renault, there are four races remaining in the year to build up confidence heading into 2020.

The next grand prix is in Mexico this weekend with events to follow in America, Brazil and the UAE.

Ricciardo said Renault needs to think big if it's to challenge the Big Three - Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull - next year, because minor improvements won't be enough to get the team to where it needs to be.

"At times we've had a good car but it's not the level where it could be and I think with the resources we have, it can be better," Ricciardo said recently.

"If we kind of just make some improvements on this year's car it's probably not going to be enough, so I'll probably say you'll expect a different car next year, a different philosophy.

"Maybe that's riskier, but if we don't risk anything maybe we improve a little bit on this year but ultimately that's not where the team wants to be. So I guess there's going to be a bit of change."