Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Ricciardo: Renault’s Spa form bodes well for NASCAR-like Bahrain Outer track

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo expects Renault’s strong performance around Spa-Francorchamps to be emulated around similar high-speed, low-downforce circuits.

Renault secured their best grid positions of the season so far with Ricciardo qualifying on the second row of the grid, splitting the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon, and ahead of team mate Esteban Ocon in sixth.

“It’s been a really good weekend so far,” said Ricciardo. “I feel like for whatever reason, the car seems a bit more happier with a little bit less load on it.

“Obviously, you can’t run this low around a circuit like Barcelona, but when we do come to these more high-speed, flowing circuits, it just seems like it’s in a better place with a smaller rear wing. I think even if we had a bit more wing to choose from, I think we’d probably still stay on this one for this track. It’s working well.”

Ricciardo anticipates Renault will back up their pace around the Spa circuit next weekend when the championship heads to Monza, another power-sensitive track, for the Italian Grand Prix.

Bahrain Outer Circuit
F1 will race on Bahrain’s Outer circuit in December
“Coming into Monza next week, I think we can expect to be competitive again,” Ricciardo says. “Obviously, when we go to some, let’s say, high downforce tracks, I don’t want to to say we’re going to struggle more, but we’ve got a bit more work to do on those layouts.”

Following the announcement F1 will race on the Bahrain International Circuit’s outer configuration for the Sakhir Grand Prix later this year, Ricciardo anticipates the layout will favour Renault’s car.

“I grew up a NASCAR fan so I’m pretty excited,” explains Ricciardo. “It’s probably the closest thing we’ll get to running an oval, unless we head back to Indianapolis or something.

“But if it encourages us to run low-downforce again, as we’ve got here and then coming into Monza and that – I think it looks it looks attractive. But even with that aside, I think it’s cool that they’re changing it up.”

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2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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    Dieter Rencken
    Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    3 comments on “Ricciardo: Renault’s Spa form bodes well for NASCAR-like Bahrain Outer track”

    1. Out of all the tracks I never would’ve guessed Renault would be the “best of the rest” in the power circuits like Spa. I was expecting RP to take that role. Nevertheless, this will make for interesting races in Monza and Sakhir Outer ring tracks.

    2. Daniel was good at Spa even at previous year, after an incident in the earliest laps he was forced to pit for a new set of tyres and he almost completed the whole race distance on one set, while being in contention for something like 6th place, but in the last few laps end his tyres’ grip fell off the cliff and got swallowed by the midfield, sadly had to pit for a few laps and ended up with no points. That was a nice brave effort considering these really demanding combinations of the track around Raidillon, Pouhon and Blanchimont and he almost made it. He handles tyres quite well and can be tasked with hot strategies like that.

      1. And it looks like Renault had found something that can save them from slumping at the back of the midfield. He hammered a quite good laptime at the end of preseason testing (3rd best overall as I remember) , but then they were a bit unlucky with races, so some good things might still to come for them.

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