Daniel Ricciardo has said the first day of testing was “promising” for his Renault team, as the RS20 broke cover for the first time.
Esteban Ocon drove the RS20 in the morning session, setting a best lap time of 1m18.004s, but Ricciardo managed to better his team-mate’s time by 0.131s in the afternoon, finishing the day seventh fastest.
The RS20 looks a lot different to it’s predecessor, not only because it is running in an all-black livery for the pre-season test, but also because of the heavily re-designed front nose, and Ricciardo feels that the Enstone-based team has made improvements over the winter.
Speaking about his afternoon in the RS20, Ricciardo said: “It’s great to be driving again and I felt quite comfortable in the car from the get-go, which was cool.
“Esteban obviously warmed the car up nicely this morning, and I felt I was more or less straight back into it and in a rhythm when it was my turn in the afternoon.
“There are improvements on the car and we’ve obviously changed it a lot visually, which is quite clear when you look at the front nose.
“The improvements are there, and ultimately that’s what we’re targeting.”
Ricciardo managed to complete 56 laps in addition to Ocon’s 62, bringing the team’s total tally to 118 for the day, and the Australian was pleased with the reliability his Renault showed, after the team suffered with multiple issues in 2019.
But, with the car having undergone just a single day of testing, Ricciardo remained cautious about making too many comparisons with last year’s car.
“It’s too early to make any comparisons, but our reliability was pretty strong, and I would say it’s promising.
“You can’t ask for too much more from day one, so I’m happy with that.”
Ricciardo will be back in the car for the morning session on Thursday, with Ocon taking over testing duties for the afternoon.