DANIEL Ricciardo is aiming to help Renault continue their resurgence in Formula 1 as pre-season testing begins next week.

The seven-time Grand Prix winner, who signed a two-year deal with the Enstone-based outfit last August after spending five seasons with Red Bull, will get behind the wheel for the first time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, from Monday.

Ricciardo joins a Renault team on an upward curve following the French manufacturers return to the sport in 2016 after six seasons away.

Having finished ninth and sixth respectively in the constructor standings in their first two years back, they secured fourth in 2018 to finish as the ‘best of the rest’ behind big-hitters Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg now have their sights set on bridging the gap to third.

Speaking at the car launch in Enstone earlier this week, the Australian said: “Renault has a massive history in motorsport, so to be part of the next step of their Formula 1 journey is an exciting challenge.

“People are looking forward to having me on board and I think Nico and myself will be a really good pairing to push the team onto the next step.

“I’m optimistic as the team will keep growing even more after impressive progress since 2016. I want to be part of this progression to score podiums in yellow.”

Among the changes for 2019 are simplified front and rear wing regulations as F1 bosses strive for closer racing.

Haas were quick out of the blocks in becoming the first to launch their car when their new black and gold livery was revealed in London on February 7.

Like Renault, the Banbury-prepared team have made progress since their first campaign three years ago – finishing fifth last season after back-to-back eighth places.

Witney Gazette:

  • Haas' car for the 2019 season Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen continue as drivers, while they have a new title sponsor in drinks company Rich Energy.

Chairman Gene Haas said: “This is the time of the season when you hope you’ve got designs right and you can be competitive straight away.

“The new car looks distinctive, not only in terms of its colour scheme, but also with the new regulations in play.

“Hopefully those design changes will improve the racing, and more importantly give us a shot at making more of an impact at each Grand Prix.”

Williams unveiled their new livery in Grove on Monday.

There has been a lot of change at the team, with a new driver pairing of Robert Kubica and rookie George Russell.

Their traditional navy-and-white colour scheme has been ditched for a an electric-blue-and-white look, while telecommunications company ROKiT have taken over as the main sponsor after drinks brand Martini chose not to renew its contract.

Witney Gazette:

  • Claire Williams, Robert Kubica, George Russell and sponsor Jonathan Kendrick at Williams’ livery launch Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

The first week of testing will go a long way to judging whether Williams can bounce back from finishing bottom in 2018.

But deputy team principal Claire Williams has revealed the team have cancelled their shakedown test tomorrow.

She said: “We have had an aggressive engineering programme over the winter.

“As such, we have taken the decision not to run our car during our filming day this weekend in order to allow the team to maximise the time at the factory before we head to Barcelona for the first day of the test on February 18.”