Numbers tell Ricciardo that Renault engine is the real deal

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Renault has hinted at significant improvement of its power unit, and Daniel Ricciardo says his team's optimism is fully warranted based on the hard numbers he's seen.

At Renault's launch earlier this week, team boss Cyril Abiteboul alluded to progress achieved by the manufacturer's engineers at Viry Châtillon that has surpassed any gain they have experienced since the advent of the V6 Hybrid engine in F1.

And new recruit Ricciardo has backed up their claim.

"Obviously being pretty deep in the Renault family, I've seen numbers and I know they are not just saying it to please everyone. It has been a good winter," he confirmed, speaking to

"But, race cars are race cars. You might put it on track, and it has done a lot of stuff on the dyno, and then it's 'why is it doing that?' 'Okay, we didn't expect that.'

"So you never really want to put all your eggs in that basket saying this is going to be sick.

"But look, so far what they have done over the winter, looking at the numbers they have done in previous years, it has been a good one.

"By no means are they saying it is going to be better than a Mercedes, but from what they have done it is really positive. It is nice to hear that for sure."

Ricciardo's team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who embarks on his third year with the French squad, says a performance boost on the engine front is exactly what the doctor ordered

"It is what we needed," said the German. "Last year we didn't have much coming on that side, so it was kind of overdue.

"In the second half of last year that really put us in a difficult situation, so we really needed that. It is good that it arrives.

"But then again on the other side, Ferrari and Mercedes may have found another whole lot of power again which means we will have to find more again. It is hard to say without speculating."

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