Renault had both cars in the top 10 on the road in Canada and France – although Ricciardo lost his points finish to a penalty in the latter race – but the upgraded RS19 then struggled badly for pace at the Red Bull Ring.
Ricciardo said finishing 12th in the race was the culmination of “a tough weekend”, and admitted he had “no real answers” as to why Renault had such a difficult time in Austria.
“I really hope we’re going to find something this week, because it felt like – for example, Le Castellet was a lot windier yet I didn’t really feel affected by the wind, where even today the car felt like there was massive turbulence during the race, in terms of the way it was handling, and the high-speed was very light.
“So I feel something still wasn’t quite right on the car this weekend, what that is though we still don’t know, but I’d like to believe we’re going to find something, because right now it doesn’t add up.
“So for now I remain optimistic that I’ll be like, ‘that was what was wrong’, and then we’ll be in Silverstone laughing.”
Ricciardo said he’d spoken to teammate Nico Hulkenberg, who finished two seconds behind in 13th, after the race, and said the German provided similar feedback.
“It sounds like he struggled with the same things, just a very light car and a light feeling, especially during braking.”
Asked for his view of the RS19 in the race, Hulkenberg confirmed that he was having issues with handling and braking.
“The conclusion is that nothing really worked today,” he said.
“Some very strange issues, a very square kind of braking which was difficult to control the car at times.Also driving in a straight line the front felt very light and it was getting pushed around as if you were in a tow behind another car.
“It was certainly not easy today, the Alfas in the points were not very far ahead of us but following another car was very tough in those fast corners. We didn’t have enough pace to get by.”
The German said the issues Renault suddenly faced at the Red Bull Ring were “a bit of a surprise and a bit strange”.
“Austria is a very particular circuit and in the last few years at Renault we’ve never had a great experience here so I kind of hope it’s more track-specific.
“But let’s hope we can use that next week, take a deep dive into the data, take a look at things and see what’s going on.”
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault F1 Team R.S. 19 leads Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19 and Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.19
Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images