Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon are cautiously optimistic about their chances of scoring a first podium finish of the 2020 Formula 1 season at the Italian Grand Prix.

After recording its biggest points haul as an F1 constructor at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at the power-hungry Spa-Francorchamps with Ricciardo heading Ocon home in fourth, Renault is confident of another strong showing at Monza.

Ricciardo was catching Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the closing stages of the race in Belgium on his way to setting the fastest lap on the final tour and felt he could have caught the Dutchman had there been another lap.

“I think we can be competitive again,” Ricciardo said. “That is what we should expect.

“Whether it [a podium] will happen or not, time will tell. We know racecars can be interesting vehicle sometimes, and surprise you in good or bad ways.

“After last weekend we should come here with confidence. If that results in a podium, time will tell. That is our aim, our target.

“But to sit here confidently and say yes we are going to be a podium car; we will wait and see. But I think we should be competitive I won’t deny that.”

After his strongest performance since returning to the grid, Ocon is eyeing further improvements at Monza but does not believe Renault is currently in a position to challenge for the podium on merit.

“Of course we were very close in Spa to the podium,” Ocon explained.

“[We are] not in that position yet, but the car was so competitive and I think as I said there is going to be one more opportunity here.

“But let us not try to think about that too hard. Let’s do our job and in doing so if we have the speed we will try maximise and get it done.

“At the moment having a strong weekend like in Spa is not an easy thing to do, so it is a different track and a different weekend, everyone will work hard and it is going to be tight up there.

“We are definitely going to push and try and repeat but it is not done yet. So let’s see.”



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