Ricciardo only the start of Renault’s ambitions
Adding Daniel Ricciardo as a driver must only be the start of Renault's levels of ambition, insists Nico Hulkenberg, who is expecting further progress from the team in 2019.
Renault ended 2018 as the best of the rest behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull but never showed the pace to actually challenge the big three for a podium, with their best finish in a grand prix being fifth.
The French car manufacturer has invested heavily to try and bridge that gap and Hulkenberg has stressed the importance of doing this over the European winter and that they must take advantage of the opportunities afforded by a big regulation change to the aerodynamics.
"We have to [continue to progress]," said the German. "But it's always really hard - it's all speculation. We know what we do and I know it sounds not bad, but we're in the darkness as to what the others find.
"Obviously the new front wing is kind of a soft reset for next year, as it's quite different for the cars. So it's really hard to gauge, but of course that's where need to go, what we need to aim at.
"We need to eat a lot of the gap away and eat into it. As a factory team, we need to aim at making a big step.
"I think we've made a lot of good progress in a lot of areas, especially in team structure and putting the team in the right place to grow and to build in the next two years.
"But on the technical side, development side - just on the car - this year was not quite to our ambitions and what we were looking for. So that's something we have to work on and get better at next year.
"But I think overall: last year P6, now P4 - I think that's a healthy and good development."