'I am enjoying it': Dan Ricciardo's surprise take on Renault struggles

Daniel Ricciardo insists his motivation "hasn't dipped" and the Aussie can see the influence he's having on Renault, despite the F1 team's poor record in 2019.

Ricciardo departed Red Bull after a five year period that saw him clinch seven grand prix wins.

The Aussie cited the need for a new challenge after making the stunning move to Renault, where he hoped to be part of the French manufacturer’s F1 rise.

However, Renault is so far struggling to improve on its fourth-place finish in the 2018 constructors’ championship, with performance and reliability issues dogging Ricciardo’s season so far.

The Aussie currently sits 12th in the drivers’ standings, with his best result in five races being a seventh place finish in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo has made the perhaps surprising claim that he’s “enjoying” the experience ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix - a race the 29-year-old won in 2018.

The Aussie’s victory in the French Riviera was the last time he has stepped foot on the podium.

Ricciardo feels like he's having a positive influence at Renault. Pic: Getty

“I still see what I saw when I signed, as far as the input everyone’s having, the infrastructure still going up,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

“Motivation certainly hasn’t dipped by any means.

“It’s going to take a bit more time, I am trying as well and doing everything I can.

"I feel that also everything I have put in has been taken on board and team is willing to grow and learn. I’m not saying it is all me, but at least my influence has been quite positive.

“I am enjoying it. I really am. I’d love to get better results. Hopefully a special weekend here will kick things off nicely.”

Ricciardo’s seventh place in China is his only point-scoring result so far in 2019.

He has retired from three of the other four races and finished 12th in Spain, where he had to serve a three-place grid penalty for reversing into Daniil Kvyat during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ricciardo's season has been hampered by performance and reliability issues. Pic: Getty

Renault is not faring much better as a team and sits eighth in the constructors’ contest, ahead of only two teams - Toro Rosso and Williams.

The French constructor is, however, only 10 points behind fourth-placed McLaren.

“It’s still certainly a process,” Ricciardo said of Renault’s project. “I wouldn’t say I am surprised by anything.

“Obviously we would have hoped for better results than we have currently got. We all want that, we are all honest enough to admit that.

“It would be nice to get a few more seventh places, as opposed to struggling for the top 10. But we didn’t expect to be in podium contention or anything like that.”

With agencies