F1 mistake highlighted as Daniel Ricciardo wants one key car change

Sam Cooper
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo gives a thumbs up after qualifying 13th for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo gives a thumbs up after qualifying 13th for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Daniel Ricciardo has said he would like F1 cars to go back to being shorter and narrower as he believed it made for better overtaking.

Ricciardo was known as the king of late-braking in his early career but the 2022 regulation changes have made that particular skill more challenging.

With more weight in the car, drivers have to be more cautious as to when they put their foot on the brake and Ricciardo wants F1 to go back to the way things used to be.

Daniel Ricciardo picks rule changes he would make if he was F1 boss

Speaking to the P1 podcast, Ricciardo suggested the one rule change he would make is to change the size of the car.

“One thing I prefer is 2014, 2016 that window of cars that were shorter and narrower,” Ricciardo said. “I prefer those cars for overtaking and following another car.

“I think that was a bit easier even if these cars are able to follow better. So I would change the scale of the cars and make them smaller again.”

Ricciardo is not the only driver to find overtaking harder with plenty of racers complaining about it following the Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz told media, including PlanetF1.com: “In 99% of the tracks I think we’re going to need DRS, and we’re going to need a powerful DRS, because these cars from the beginning of the year are starting to become a bit like 2021 or 2020 where it is difficult to follow.

“Obviously Monza is a special case because you don’t only have the DRS, you also have very long straights of slipstreaming, which helps a bit more the car behind, but I think in the rest of the tracks, we’re going to need the DRS.”

Race winner Max Verstappen joined Sainz in the criticism, saying it was a “struggle” to get by without DRS.

“I think in most tracks, we still struggle to follow or pass,” said the Red Bull driver.

“I mean, at the beginning of the year, a lot of people were complaining about passing.

“We had the luxury of being a quick car, and we could still pass like in Miami where I think everyone was complaining about the passing – remember in the briefings – with DRS?

“I think the cars are getting more and more efficient and they have more downforce. So, it’s harder to follow and then they’re more efficient on the straight.

“Naturally here [at Monza] there’s less DRS effect because there’s almost no wing on the car. But I think it really depends on which track.

“[At Monza] for example, if Carlos, he was putting the car in the middle under braking into Turn 1, it’s almost impossible to do something, because if I go for it and he just moves a little bit to the right, there is no space anymore.”

Put the question of what to change in the sport to another F1 driver and their response may well be equal machinery with those not in the top teams wanting a levelling of the playing field.

Ricciardo though did not think that was part of the ethos of F1 and said it is good that the sport has “a ranking system.”

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“I feel like my answer changes over the years,” the Australian said. “Because part of me is I you know ‘yeah let’s try to make the cars all even and equal.’

“As a driver maybe it’s cool, because it’s an even playing field but maybe there’s not that really heightened ambition to really want to be somewhere.

“Part of me wants that but I also think part of F1 is to have a little bit of a ranking system so to speak.”

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