Formula 1 Racing

No need to revert RB F1 upgrades after Spain shocker

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, in Parc Ferme after the race

RB’s Daniel Ricciardo says there is no need to revert the team’s upgrades just yet as it investigates a “really strange” drop in performance at the Spanish Grand Prix.

RB brought an elaborate upgrade package to Barcelona, which included a new rear wing, updated sidepods and engine covers and a re-profiled floor.

The team hoped those updates would keep its VCARB01 at the forefront of F1’s tight midfield, having recently passed Aston Martin in the pecking order.

But instead, the team went backwards in competitiveness, with both Ricciardo and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda eliminated in the first stage of qualifying.

From 17th and 18th on the grid respectively, Tsunoda and Ricciardo couldn’t make an impact in the race either, with Ricciardo the highest finisher in 15th, half a minute behind Alpine’s final points scorer Esteban Ocon in 10th.

RB is still chasing answers on why its weekend became such a shocker, with questions over whether or not it was led up the wrong path by its simulation tools or didn’t optimise its package for the changing conditions across the Barcelona weekend.

With the second leg of the triple-header coming this weekend in Austria, the Anglo-Italian squad won’t have much time to turn things around, but Ricciardo doesn’t feel the Barcelona updates need to come off the car just yet.

“I think that temptation probably only exists in maybe in 72 hours,” Ricciardo said. “If we’re still unsure or there’s no clear answer then maybe we say: ‘Okay. do we just for the time being go back?’

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, in Parc Ferme after the race

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“But right now I’m not there yet to resort to that. Once we put everything on the table, if we’re still like that, then that probably becomes a question.”

What is most puzzling to Ricciardo is that he actually felt pretty comfortable in the car, and he didn’t think he and his team had left much on the table with the car package that was available.

“It was a really, really strange weekend for us to have dropped off so much,” the Australian explained.

“I didn’t have a bad feeling in qualifying. In the debrief Yuki and myself both felt we did good laps, we felt like the balance wasn’t bad.

“I think simply lacked the load and we probably don’t really get everything out of the new package.

“Honestly I felt good in the race. I was happy with what I got out of it, but 15th is not something that we can be happy about.


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