Ricciardo dismisses RB U-turn on upgrades… for now


Daniel Ricciardo says RB is not yet considering abandoning its car's brand new upgrade package and reverting to its previous specification despite the team’s dismal performance in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

RB unveiled in Barcelona what many qualified as a genuine ‘B car’ given the extent of the modifications implemented on its VCARB 01, which included changes to the car’s floor as well as a new engine cover, revised sidepod inlets, and a new rear wing and beam wing.

While the Faenza-based outfit expected its contender to take a step forward and allow the team to uphold its midfield momentum, it was clear from the outset that this would not be the case.

In qualifying, both Ricciardo and teammate Yuki Tsunoda were knocked out in Q1 which left the pair 17th and 18th on Sunday’s grid.

The race offered no redemption. Ricciardo managed a distant 15th place finish, almost half a minute behind the final points scorer, Alpine's Esteban Ocon, while Tsunoda concluded his day a distant P19.

At the end of the day, RB was left with more questions than answers regarding their car’s shocking lack of pace in its new configuration.

But time is of the essence for the Italian outfit, with the next race just around the corner in Austria.

While Ricciardo remains optimistic about the upgrades themselves, a swift and thorough analysis is crucial to ensure they don't continue to hinder the team's progress.


However, the Aussie isn’t dismissing a full return to the VCARB 01’s previous spec.

"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?'

"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."

The biggest head-scratcher for Ricciardo was his own positive feeling behind the wheel. Despite the lack of pace, he felt comfortable controlling the car.

This, coupled with his and the team's belief they'd extracted the most from the package on race day, created a puzzling situation.

"It was a really, really strange weekend for us to have dropped off so much," Ricciardo 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.

"I've got plenty of notes and feedback from the race. The next 48-72 hours [we have] lots of things to look at."

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