Ricciardo offers glimmer of hope that F1's new regs will work


There's hope that Formula 1 will enjoy more overtaking this year following the sport's rule changes, with Daniel Ricciardo claiming to have been able to closely follow another car this week in Barcelona.

In a bid to promote closer racing and improve overtaking opportunities up and down the field, Formula 1 has implemented a series of aerodynamic changes to its cars.

New rules have governed the design of the 2019 chargers' front and rear wings, with the ultimate aim of reducing the turbulent wake of air that follows a car and disrupts the downforce of the car behind, forcing its driver to drop back.

Many team designers doubt the raft of changes will have a positive bearing on the racing while drivers have yet to race in close formation to test the full-scale efficiency of the aero tweaks.

This week, Ricciardo said he experienced a moment out on track where he felt he could follow another car more easily.

"It actually seemed alright," said Renault's new recruit.

"At the time I was lapping quite a bit quicker, and I don't know what car it was, so I assumed they had more fuel.

"Maybe that is why it was easier for me to follow, but if that was a like for like it felt better.

"But I don't want to get too excited. We are still going to feel it, don't get me wrong. But I would like to think that was a sign that we would feel a bit of an improvement."

However, Ricciardo's team mate Nico Hulkenberg said he was still in the camp of those who believe that overtaking will remain a difficult proposition in 2019.

"I haven't really followed any cars around, I've got a couple of tows, but my feeling is it's still going to be difficult," said the German.

"The pace is just so high, especially now here, and you brake so late that braking zones are so short, that it's almost impossible it feels to do a move on someone somewhere."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter