Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo Reflects on Challenges with VCARB at Saudi Arabian GP: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

In an eye-opening recap, Daniel Ricciardo revealed the trials faced with the VCARB car during a tough Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The race was marked by setbacks for Ricciardo and the RB team, shedding light on the struggle with their 2024 car.

Key Takeaways:

  • Qualifying and Pit Stop Woes: Ricciardo faced a challenging weekend, starting with a significant gap in qualifying performance compared to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, and experiencing a slow pit stop that further impeded his progress during the race.
  • Flaws in VCARB 01: The RB team’s 2024 car, the VCARB 01, displayed several issues contributing to Ricciardo’s difficulties, highlighting the need for urgent improvements.
  • Optimism Despite Setbacks: Despite these challenges, Ricciardo maintains a positive outlook on the team’s potential for improvement, expressing confidence in addressing the car’s flaws for better performance in future races.

Daniel Ricciardo’s experience at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was far from smooth sailing. The Australian driver was significantly out-qualified by teammate Yuki Tsunoda, beginning the race in a disappointing 14th position. Race day brought its own set of challenges, including a notably slow pit stop, causing Ricciardo to fall behind Kevin Magnussen. This, coupled with a spin at Turn 1 in the closing laps, relegated him to a position ahead of only the Sauber cars.

Reflecting on the weekend, Ricciardo was quoted by, saying:

“Honestly, we found a few things over the course of the weekend. But we’re heading into the race always upbeat and optimistic that maybe something happens. But I think it was always going to be an uphill battle. We simply don’t have everything functioning at 100%. So we see a few flaws, honestly, with the car. So we got to get that fixed for the next one.”

Ricciardo’s comments continued with a mix of humor and honesty:

“I think the race itself, Safety Car, everyone pitted and we had a really slow stop. I don’t know if they showed it… But a slow one. And then we’re in that train. So at the end, then just to make sure I made my mistake as well, I had a spin at Turn 1, so… I didn’t want the team to feel left out. Yeah, just definitely a tricky one. But the reason I’m staying optimistic because I know that we had some things wrong. And with a good car and everything sorted, I know we can do a lot better. So painful three days, but I don’t want it to take any confidence out of us. So, hasn’t been the start that we wanted, but it’s race two and Melbourne’s next. So yeah, big push for everyone to get it right and we’ll have a good weekend.”

Ricciardo also highlighted the car’s performance limitations, particularly when compared to the advancements of rival teams:

“Honestly, some things with the car. Like just when it comes to producing efficiency and everything, just a few things didn’t quite add up. Look, I felt it yesterday, like Bahrain I knew that it was more me – like qualifying, I knew I left some time on the table. I left a couple of tenths. But yesterday… and when it kind of plateaus and the others keep improving, it’s also a bit of a sign. So I could feel that that was the limit of the car. So yeah, we did find some things afterwards. But then you got parc ferme. And to be honest, even if we didn’t have parc ferme, it’s probably nothing we can fix in 24 hours. So I’m sure a few things would go back to the factory and come back with a fresh car in Melbourne.”

The struggle with the VCARB car’s current limitations was further emphasized by the difficulties of following other cars closely, a challenge that Ricciardo and his team will be keen to address in the upcoming races. Despite the setbacks, his resolve and optimism shine through, indicating a strong comeback in future events.

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