Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo Wonders If a ‘Big Hole’ Is the Hidden Culprit Behind His F1 Car’s Lagging Performance at British Grand Prix

In the wake of a notably challenging British Grand Prix, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo candidly voiced his frustrations and concerns regarding his VCARB01 car’s performance. Amid hopes that an unidentified “big hole” in his car might explain the sluggish speeds, Ricciardo’s reflections shed light on broader team dynamics and technical struggles.

During the race, Ricciardo began in 15th position and managed only a 13th place finish, falling outside the points. In contrast, his teammate Yuki Tsunoda showed a somewhat better performance, starting 13th and finishing 10th, securing a single championship point. Highlighting the performance disparity, Ricciardo remarked, “We honestly, just as a team, for sure we struggle here. Looking at the Williams at the end of that stint, and [Logan] Sargeant pulled away from me and I believe [Alex] Albon came and passed Tsunoda. Yuki got a point, he did well, but I think as a team we weren’t very competitive this weekend.”

Ricciardo’s race experience was compounded by comparative assessments with competitors. While his car seemed balanced, it significantly lacked “load,” a critical element for maintaining high speeds, especially in high-speed corners. He explained, “Watching the othercars in front, I felt the high-speed they were really able to pull away a little bit more. So probably my explanation [is] we’re lacking a bit of load.” This discrepancy was evident as he observed the superior pace of others, saying, “That’s why, when I heard the lap times of the others, I was quite confused because I did the lap, and the lap felt pretty clean – a few little things, but felt decent. I was close to the potential the car, and that’s when I was like, I don’t really have an answer right now.”

Ricciardo also shared insights into a conversation with his engineer, which underscored an ongoing struggle to pinpoint and address the car’s deficiencies. “My engineer asked me where, what am I missing? What do I need? And I felt like I was saying, like, the balance and stuff was actually okay, feel like we’re just lacking load,” he recounted.

The Australian driver theorized that underlying issues with car optimization may be at play, suggesting an incomplete grasp of the car’s engineering needs. “Downforce is the king, but I think there’s still things we missed, or my assumption is we missed some things, just with our car and optimising it,” Ricciardo noted. He acknowledged a need for improvement, both personally and as a team: “We have to, looking forward, make everything better but right now with what we had… probably still with set-up, there’s maybe a couple of things myself and the team are maybe not quite grasping.”

This weekend’s performance, coupled with Ricciardo’s insights, suggests a critical evaluation phase for the team. With an increasingly competitive season, refining the car’s load and downforce capabilities could be pivotal. As the season progresses, how Ricardi and his team address these challenges could significantly influence their standings and future race strategies.

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Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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