Ricciardo retains F1 world title belief despite Renault frustration


Daniel Ricciardo remains steadfast in his belief that he can win a Formula One world championship despite being well off the pace with Renault last year.

The Australian switched to the team from Red Bull ahead of the 2019 campaign but looks to have timed the move badly, with his former employers racking up 417 points to Renault's 91 in the constructors' championship.

Ricciardo's contract expires at the end of this season, which F1 bosses hope will resume in Austria in July, and he may need to move on if he is to achieve his ultimate goal.

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"My basic target with this whole journey was not just get into F1. It was to leave a world champion," the 30-year-old, who came ninth overall last year, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Was I excited to get to F1? Absolutely. Do I love it? Yes. I haven't got there yet. But am I still enjoying it? Absolutely.

"But if it ended today would I be disappointed? A big part of me would be because it's something I really believe I am good enough to achieve, so I would feel it has left smelting on the table.

"That is the ultimate goal. The day I stop believing I'm able to get that any more it is the day you'll probably see me walk away from the sport, but I certainly still believe this can happen."

With regulation changes aimed at narrowing the gap between rival teams set to come into force in 2022, Ricciardo's next decision is all the more difficult, and he admits such considerations are problematic. 

"It's frustrating that the sport is driven quite a lot by being in the right equipment in the right season," he said. "But it's what I signed up for. And that in itself is an exciting part of the sport.

"The challenge is to position yourself with the best team at that moment and when rule changes come in, it’s, like, is that still the right team to be with, or are we missing something? Do we need to try to build on what we've got here?

"It’s kind of like chess a lot of the time. I wish it was black and white and everyone had the same and we could go and see who was the best, but that is not how it works. But I do feel that the best will always find a way to make it to the top."

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