Ricciardo wants F1 to ‘play around’ with Yas Marina

Jamie Woodhouse
Abu Dhabi PA

Daniel Ricciardo wants F1 to play around with the Yas Marina layout.

Daniel Ricciardo wants to keep coming back to Abu Dhabi, but feels the time has come to make some changes to the Yas Marina Circuit.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the traditional season-ending event on the Formula 1 calendar, and that remained the case as a 2020 season like no other before in F1 came to an end under the lights on Yas Island.

But while the circuit and indeed its surroundings are easy on the eye, traditionally the racing hasn’t been.

And that remained the case this year as Max Verstappen led every lap from pole to take victory for Red Bull in a race where Mercedes never offered a threat to the Dutchman.

There were the usual tight battles in the midfield, but the overwhelming feeling was that DRS was making them all too predictable.

So Ricciardo, who finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in P7, thinks the time has come to “play around” a little with the Yas Marina Circuit.

“We know Abu Dhabi as a Sunday venue, it’s not always the most exciting race,” he told reporters after the race.

“It’s a shame because it is such a great venue, I certainly don’t want to talk the place down because I want to keep coming back here.

“Maybe we could play around with the layout because unfortunately on Sunday it is tricky. It’s sometimes a bit grim from an entertainment point of view.”

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Fortunately for Ricciardo he pumped in a solid peformance in his final race for Renault, meaning he was entertained throughout, even if the viewers were starting to nod off.

He even claimed a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

“Knowing my pace was strong and I was creating a gap, that kept me excited,” he said.

“It was kind of like just a long time trial that was enduring. Personally, it was a fairly fun race for me, although not a whole lot of action with other guys.

“I think it was the maximum we could have done. Maybe without the Safety Car I could have put a bit more pressure on the McLarens [but] they were still pretty fast and a long way up. I was just seeing the laps tick over.

“I think I had the fastest lap on the second last lap, but I actually went off at the last corner.

“So I really stretched it on my last lap, but it was a nice way to do my last ever lap in the Renault. It was good to know it was a fast one, so a good sign off.”

Ricciardo’s 119 points saw him finish the season P5 in the Drivers’ Championship, a big improvement on his 2019 efforts where the Aussie scored only 54 points to finish P9.

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