Late last month, Max Verstappen was reported to have dismissed the idea that Daniel Ricciardo or anyone else would perform the simulator work required to set up the Dutchman’s race car before each race weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo appeared to contradict this view at the launch of the RB19 when he told the assembled crowd, “I’ll attend some races, and it’s really to also help develop the car, use my experience, a lot of simulator work, and to help the team as much as possible.”
Ricciardo set attend ‘some’ F1 weekends
Christian Horner revealed that Ricciardo would also attend a number of the grand prix weekends and perform the role of reserve driver for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Max was questioned about his original comments about the simulator work where he claimed, “I think our simulator is one of the best in the industry.”
“We feed in data from the vehicle that we collected on the racetrack. Of course, the congruence between simulation and reality is not perfect.“
“The days are very long, but I am convinced that this work is worth it. I also don’t want a test driver to take care of the simulation like other racing teams do. I want to do it myself, because everyone has their own driving style.”
Verstappen says Ricciardo won’t do his sim work
This was widely reported to be in contradiction to the explanations given by Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo himself when the recruitment of the Aussie driver was completed by Red Bull Racing.
Max has now clarified his comments suggesting the idea he would do all his own simulation work: “I think maybe the way it was said was misquoted.
“What I meant was that I prefer to do the days because if I’m not going to do them, people don’t know my feedback when I drive on the simulator, and I think it’s very important to have a lot of different drivers on the simulator.”
Sim drivers test new components
The simulator drivers perform tasks like testing new components, some of which may never make it to the car, and for this reason the race drivers are assisted in the totality of simulation work performed by the team.
Verstappen explains that he feeds back to the test drivers like Daniel and Sebastian Buemi how he prefers the car to respond.
“From our feedback, they can understand their role better in terms of when new parts come onto the car in the simulator first to understand that it’s actually going in the right direction,” Verstappen explains
“So that’s why I think it’s always very important that the actual driver in the car is also doing the simulator work.”
Simulator in overdrive during F1 weekend
Of course during a Formula one weekend the simulator goes into hyperdrive between practice sessions. F1 team’s regularly run “all nighters” back at base on the Friday night, particularly when the car has not performed as expected in the second practice session.
The sim drivers clearly need to known the requirements of the physical driver in order to test various setups in an attempt to bring the car more the the liking of the driver at the circuit.
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 8, 2023