Daniel Ricciardo demands changes at Red Bull
Last year he was everybody’s darling, especially for those fan bases, who were and partly still are bitter over the four championship titles of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo easily beat his German team mate during the first part of 2014, but the Australian was not so dominant once Vettel got began to get to grips with the characteristics of the car.
This year Danny is the clear team leader for RBR and he told F1i.com he was prepared for the task and ready to challenge for the title.
“Yeah, I did. Obviously there was a lot of positive talk around the team and how Renault will close the gap a lot and we found this with the car and this and that. So in my mind I was prepared and ready to go and fight for a title … but it’s not quite that easy …”
As was reported in last week’s news, this sounds eerily similar to just any number of Vettel interviews from last year. However, there is a shift in the rhetoric because the Aussie refuses to lay all the blame on the asthmatic Renault power unit. Ricciardo believes the RB11 itself is obviously not Adrian Newey’s best shot.
“I think we’re in a difficult place now. The hardest thing is we know where we lack in power, that’s a known, but there is still something within the car and the chassis which I don’t think we quite understand. That’s where I don’t think at the moment we have the confidence to move forward.
“Obviously the team has got the resources and whatever, but we’re bringing updates quite often and they’re not really giving us much. We’ve hit a small little bump in the road and we’ve got to try to overcome it sooner rather than later.”
Prejudice aside, the Vettel of 2014 was not performing to the level of the previous year when he spent most of his time on and off track fine-tuning his driving style to the unique characteristics of the RB9. Sebastian clearly found it hard to ‘unlearn’ this style with the new turbo-powered car.
Since Daniel Ricciardo hit the headlines in 2014, he now must prove it was more than just a flattering year – and the lacklustre RB11 appears to be wearing Ricciardo’s patience thin as he calls for his team to make something happen.
“It’s tough. I’m definitely experiencing it now and fortunately I am a positive guy and I do get motivated pretty easily, but even for my level of positive I’ve been pretty down quite a few times this year. It’s not fun.
“We’ve got to start seeing some change, that’s it. We’re nearly half way through the year. Also last year we got some wins but we were nowhere near Mercedes the majority of the time so we can’t afford to slip back any further. We’ve got to start seeing some change otherwise I think something big has to happen and someone needs to step up and make it happen.
“I think I can make a bit more noise now. I feel like I need to as well. I know everyone’s not happy where we are but me as well, I’ve got a small window of success, an F1 career is not long. So I think I can speak up and try to push for a change if I feel there needs to be one. Obviously also the senior guys in terms of … there’s obviously contracts in place for some things but if you’re not making progress then I think you’ve got to try and push the envelope a little bit.
“It’s going to be a busy next one or two months. I think looking ahead to next year, we can’t continue like this. We’ll need a miracle to stay like this and all of a sudden fighting for the win again. We do need to make something happen.”
A little tip from the Judge’s chamber. Call Maranello and ask to speak to Seb. He went through the same gambit of emotions just 12 months ago.
Minor track changes in Austria
Turn 8 of the Red Bull Ring in Austria has seen minor changes. Astro-Turf has been added behind the curbs, because drivers tended to take liberties with the track limits last year. The artificial grass is meant to punish that more than tarmac and the watchful eyes of the stewards do.
The driver steward in Austria will be American Danny Sullivan, who drove for Tyrrell in 1983 and famously won the 1985 Indy 500 despite doing a Three-sixty at full speed, nearly collecting Mario Andretti.
Pirelli President acquitted
Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera has been acquitted of charges for industrial espionage by a court in Milano. Provera had been handed a 20 month suspended sentence in 2013, but appealed the court’s decision. The Italian had been brought to court on claims that he stole trade secrets between 2001 and 2006 when he was in charge of Telekom Italia.
Andries van Overbeeke presents 2019 F1 concept
Andries van Overbeeke, who has presented several concepts of how future F1 cars could look like in a series called “Echoes of a nearby Future” has released another stunning looking concept of a 2019 McLaren with a closed cockpit.
The full gallery is available on The artists website