Ricciardo needs to ‘drive through’ problems

Date published: February 19 2018

Gearing up for his eighth season in F1, Daniel Ricciardo still has things to learn such as how to be less “sensitive” to set-up and drive through the problems.

The Aussie is hoping that this year’s championship will see Red Bull emerge as a true title contender, taking the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari.

But while he needs Red Bull and Renault to come to the party for that to happen, he concedes there are also things he can do to up his game.

“In the past, I feel some of my strength has been my ability to feel the car,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

“I’m quite sensitive to things and therefore in the past it’s been good for tyre management.

“Sometimes it’s to my detriment, where I would probably be better off driving through something as opposed to being ‘oh, we need to change that or change that’.

“I feel I have learned a bit as well. Sometimes just throw the book out the window and drive it.”

Last season Ricciardo claimed nine podiums of which just one was a race win, Azerbaijan.

He reckons a large part of his troubles were the result of the Pirelli tyres and not so much the new 2017 aero rules.

“These tyres behave so differently to all different types of surfaces,” Ricciardo explained.

“On a smooth surface they slide a lot and I think a lot of the time, I have got to acknowledge the car is not going to be perfect.

“It’s low grip, the tyre is quite slow at warming up, so it’s going to slide, it’s going to feel a bit of a handful.

“Just go out there and it’s not going to be perfect but just do what you’ve got with what you’ve got. Maybe sometimes I’ll try and set up the car and try and fix it when it’s never really going to be fixed.

“Maybe sticking with one set-up for longer in the weekend and learning how to drive that set-up the best [would be better].

“There are a few times we’ve got a little bit lost and changed too many things. It’s also natural because you want a better car – ‘it’s understeering here so let’s try and fix that’.

“It then creates another problem and you just end up in a bit of a vicious cycle.”