RB chasing crucial step that will help Daniel Ricciardo as F1 career doubt swirls

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo side on view with his cap on

Daniel Ricciardo has not quite had the start to 2024 that he would have wanted.

RB team principal Laurent Mekies has stressed that the team need to give Daniel Ricciardo a car that “he’s more comfortable with”, after a difficult start to the season.

Yuki Tsunoda earned a creditable points finish in Australia last time out, while Ricciardo’s qualifying struggles made it difficult for him to achieve a similar result, despite making up places in the race.

Daniel Ricciardo needs RB to give him ‘more comfortable car’ – Laurent Mekies

With Ricciardo having been widely expected to be the team leader at RB this season, it is in fact Tsunoda who has appeared to have come out of the blocks the quicker of the two drivers on early evidence.

While there is still a long way to go this season for that to turn around, their team principal explained that a part of what the team needs to do is to make the eight-time Grand Prix winner feel more at ease behind the wheel.

“The truth is that we need to give him a car that he’s more comfortable with,” Mekies told Motorsport.com.

“Yuki had a car that he was very comfortable with from FP1 here.

“We probably reached that stage only in qualifying with Daniel, and from there you need to build. And we feel that he has certainly done that in the race.

“He was as fast as the guys getting the points today. So we will have been fighting for the points with a more decent starting position.

“It’s another positive to take home, the fact that Daniel has produced a very strong race as well, even if he was starting from the back.”

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Ricciardo himself has been more pragmatic about his start to the season, saying there is “no panic” about his beginning to the year just yet.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have a better weekend and start to the season, especially after the preparation I had coming into it,” the Australian said after his home race.

“However, there’s no panic, we continue keeping our eyes on the prize and working together.

“I feel like the car itself has not really changed from last year, it’s an update but the characteristics are very similar.

“There’s some confidence in that and I don’t think we have to change everything, so we’ll find something in one of the next weekends to continue the positive performance trend.”

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