Ricciardo dampens VCARB hype after Bahrain test

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Daniel Ricciardo threw cold water on suggestions that Visa Cash App RB could be a surprise contender this season in F1 based on the team’s performance in pre-season testing.

Yuki Tsunoda set the seventh fastest lap overall over the course of the three-day test in Bahrain, but its Ricciardo’s P4 effort on the opening day of running that initially caught everyone’s attention.

However, the Aussie played down expectations, insisting that the Faenza-built car will be firmly in the midfield mix initially.

“I would say I think people got excited from let's say the outside, fans, got excited,” Ricciardo said.

“I think they thought we were going to be a different version of another car from the past [Red Bull’s RB19] but it's not that, it isn't that,

“There was the rumours and a bit of excitement it was going to be, but it's certainly not.”

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VCARB’s run plans on the final day of testing were disrupted by the repeated loose drain cover issue that occurred in the morning. But despite the setback, the team was able to properly execute its programmes.

“There was that issue this morning on track with the drain and we were worried we wouldn't get our race run in so, luckily, we got that in,” Ricciardo explained.

“Did some short run stuff last night and on Day 1 and then the race sim more or less this morning, the last day, so plenty of laps.

“I think in terms of performance, yeah, we're as expected. We're trying to fight in that midfield group. There's definitely work to do to catch the front guys, but that's no surprise, but I think it was a pretty smooth test.

“I don't think we leave here with any concerns or scratching our heads, I think we know where we are and we've got to keep working from here.”


While the sister Red Bull outfit might not be the championship dark horse some hoped for, Ricciardo’s tempered enthusiasm suggests a team focused on steady progress and development.

But the upcoming races will be the real test, and F1 fans will be eager to see how the RB1 performs on the Grand Prix stage.

“We're trying to make the most of what we've got,” added the 34-year-old. “We've definitely developed the car from last year.

“It's hard, because we brought updates in Abu Dhabi so we're comparing it to a car that had fresh updates.

“If we compare it to the car the race before Abu Dhabi, it looks like we've made a bigger step, but it's just an evolution of that.

“So, yeah, some gains here and there but still if we want to be sure to fight for Q3s and top 10s there's certainly still going to be a bit more to find.

“I say that realistically, I don't say that pessimistically, just realistically.”

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