Ricciardo confident Renault can be strong everywhere now

Over the last four races Ricciardo finished fourth at Spa, sixth at Monza, fifth at Mugello and then fifth at Sochi, despite a time penalty.

On three occasions his teammate Esteban Ocon also scored well.

Ricciardo currently lies sixth in the world championship, just two points behind third-placed Lando Norris and one shy of Alex Albon, while Renault holds fifth in the constructors’ version, seven behind McLaren in third.

Ricciardo said the Sochi result was a confidence booster because Russia hadn’t been a particularly strong venue either for the team or him personally in previous seasons. Last year he started 10th and retired with collision damage.

“After this weekend I can certainly be more confident moving forward,” he said.

“Nico [Hulkenberg] did pretty well around here last year, but it certainly wasn’t our strongest track. And personally, it’s never been my strongest track.

“So to put in a good result here personally, but also to have the car underneath me here, really from FP1 onwards, I think that says a lot.

“It gives me confidence now I think at any track we go to. Whether it’s a top five car, I don’t know, but I think certainly we can realistically aim for Q3 at every track now, no matter what the layout.”

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Regarding the recent run of form he said: “It’s been really positive the last four races, the worst result was sixth, so I’m really happy with that.

“Reliability has been good. We’re in a good place, I’m in a good place. I’ve picked up a few mistakes, but I’m still pleased with the outcome.”

Ocon, who ran fourth in the first stint in Sochi before dropping back to seventh, agreed that the Enstone team is making progress.

“It’s going in the right direction,” said the Frenchman. “We see that the pace is strong. For the future races it’s good, we’re catching the guys in the front, which is the main target for the constructors’ championship, and I was fourth at some point. It means that it’s getting there.”

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