RB detail Daniel Ricciardo ‘hidden progress’ and ‘value’ that could extend team stay

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo may be struggling on track but off it he has been described as a huge asset.

RB boss Laurent Mekies said Daniel Ricciardo’s input into the team has been a huge asset, even while he has struggled to get points on the board in 2024.

The Australian trails team-mate Yuki Tsunoda by 14 points this season but, as his contract comes to an end this year, Mekies has detailed the other ways Ricciardo has been able to help the team.

Daniel Ricciardo ‘value’ to RB identified by Laurent Mekies

Mekies first worked with Ricciardo in 2012 before the Australian moved to Red Bull and Mekies to the FIA but now that they are back together, the French team principal has detailed how important he has been to the team’s development.

“It’s a huge luck for this team to have a pairing [of] Yuki and Daniel,” he exclusively told PlanetF1.com.

“Daniel specifically, in the context of the projects, where the team needs to go and helping identify the gaps, it hugely helps to have somebody like Daniel that won eight races, has been at a few teams and knows where the board can be and where the board needs to go.

“So his input into the team has been massive. So even when the first couple of races say, the performance was in the uncomfortable zone, you were still bringing a massive amount of value to the team.

“Yes, he has been suffering initially with some of the characteristics of the car that will not give him the full confidence. It’s not unique to Daniel, it’s also very much the name of the game that we do every year.

“You see every year you have a driver that comes with a driving style that fits very well a given car or is a bit more sensitive to the given characteristics. So we have been working very hard with him, with his crew, with his development crew on getting that sorted.”

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Despite Ricciardo’s troubles this year, Mekies insisted that the driver has been “extremely non-emotional” about it and that there has been “hidden” progress.

“We’ve been seeing very strong progress, some of that has been hidden to you guys,” he said.

“But in fact, the race in Australia was better than Saudi. Japan was better than Australia. You start seeing that China was better than Japan and Miami was better than China.

 

“So we think we are on a trajectory and to answer your question, he has been extremely non-emotional about it. He’s been completely rational, looking at it with us saying ‘this is what I can do, this is what I cannot do with the car. This is why I can’t do that in the corner. This is what I need to do in that corner.’

“And it’s been a learning as much for us and it was for him and we have stuff coming onto the car, short term, long term to try to [use that] learning from the requests he has made and that will eventually allow him to express himself at his best.”

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