RB send warning to Daniel Ricciardo as ‘happy accident’ grants huge wish

Jamie Woodhouse
RB driver Daniel Ricciardo against the blue sky backdrop in Melbourne.

RB driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo, not by design, will get his wish of a new RB chassis for the Chinese Grand Prix, though has been warned this is not expected to be a “performance differentiator”.

Ricciardo has ambitions of challenging current Red Bull driver Sergio Perez for his seat come 2025, with Perez’s deal up at the end of the season. However, Ricciardo is facing a battle to keep his own place in the junior RB line-up early in F1 2024, as he struggles to match the performances of team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo gets new chassis but warned on performance

Ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix race weekend, Ricciardo said the potential of him receiving a new chassis had been raised before RB could tell him he is “sh*t”. And he will get his wish for the following round in China, though not because RB has gone out of their way specifically to make a new chassis, rather because this spare one was due anyway.

Sporting director Alan Permane concedes it makes sense to give this chassis to the struggling Ricciardo, though he does not see it suddenly putting a chunk of lap time up for grabs.

“For me the chassis is a big lump of carbon that we attach the suspension to, attach an engine to, and a gearbox to,” said Permane.

“It’s really ever so unlikely that there are performance issues with the chassis.

“However, we have a new one coming through, it makes sense at all levels to give that to Daniel, not least that Yuki is super happy and super comfortable where he is.

“We don’t have a preference on drivers. With Daniel maybe it’s good for him to just put that completely to bed, that there any there any issues with the car.

“I don’t see it as being a performance differentiator and certainly not something we want to be hopping drivers in and out of. It’s a happy accident we had one coming.

“We’re not bringing a chassis because of his issues, let’s be clear about that. It all fits together.”

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And they are Ricciardo comfort issues which have left RB extremely cautious about how they look to address them, Permane stressing that there is no reason on the technical side why Ricciardo cannot drive the VCARB01 to its full potential.

“It’s not an easy one,” Permane admitted. “You can address those kinds of things with set-up [but] what you don’t want to do is make the car slower.

“We’ve been very cautious to not make it more comfortable but a slower car.

“In a perfect world, you’d dial it out and give him his confidence and slowly creep back to get the maximum performance.

“There’s no reason Daniel can’t drive the car like it is, in its quickest form, that’s clear and I’m pretty sure he understands that.

“That’s what we need to do, give him the quickest possible car.”

Tsunoda scored RB’s first points of the season last time out with a P7 finish at the Australian Grand Prix.

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