Renault F1 Team completed a positive day of practice in preparation for the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix, the 1,000th race in the history of Formula 1.
Renault's new recruit - hired at a hefty cost - has endured a hard start to his career with the French team.
Ricciardo hasn't even featured in Q3 yet - and as any driver would tell you, the quest to find a good qualifying auto and good race vehicle on the same weekend is tough. And speaking in Shanghai, Ricciardo voiced the opinion that an attempt to be "too clever" by Renault over the race weekends in pursuit of a "perfect car" was perhaps hindering his progress.
"We got the chance to analyse on the Monday after Bahrain".
"We had a bit of a debrief in a bit of peace of quiet in our own environment, and we kind of established that we are trying to do too much". "We got the chance to analyse on the Monday after [Bahrain]... and we established that we're maybe now trying to do too much, where I'm trying to settle in and also my engineers are trying to [learn how to] work with me". Where I am trying to settle in and also my engineers are trying to work with me.
"We're trying to understand why", the Australian noted.
"I don't want to say I'm nowhere (with my overtaking), but of course I was a bit of a standout in a Red Bull vehicle", Ricciardo told ESPN before FP1. But for now, maybe we need to keep a more basic approach and just do what we can, do it well and then probably not look for that extra one per cent at the moment. "I'm probably better off just being in something that I'm comfortable and consistent with".
"I felt positive and comfortable in the vehicle today and I think that reflects in our lap times across both short and long runs".
After crashing out of the Melbourne GP and being forced to retire in Bahrain, Ricciardo's fresh start with Renault has been nothing but fraught. "This is what it takes to be a top auto so it's valuable and good assurance for the team that that's what we need to do".
"But I think your style will always be a part of you and I still want to be that aggressive driver on the brakes".
"That is why I'm not frustrated yet because I know that definitely things are going to come good. I still want my competitors to fear me!"
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who made a costly mistake in Bahrain last time out to miss out on a podium finish, was the quickest man on track ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.