Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Ricciardo suspects Algarve exposed Renault’s weakness

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says Renault’s performance in the Portuguese Grand Prix may have exposed a remaining weakness in their otherwise improved RS20.

Renault has made notable progress in recent races, particularly with its high downforce package. That was reflected in Ricciardo’s breakthrough podium finish for the team in the Eifel Grand Prix.

But the team’s cars finished in the lower half of the top 10 last weekend, and only Ricciardo got his car into Q3. He believes the combination of a high-downforce track and low-grip conditions showed up his Renault’s shortcomings.

“I still believe that our weakness lies in that in real maximum downforce,” said Ricciardo. “Maybe not everyone had it in Nurburgring.

“So if everyone’s kind of put it on here, and onto that you’ve [also] got a lower track surface [temperature] so kind of the downforce even plays a bigger part because the grip’s low maybe that then kind of put us back to maybe where we are with this style of wing. That’s probably all I’d say.”

Ricciardo said Renault were able to get the tyres into the correct operating window more successfully at the Nurburgring than they could at Autodromo do Algarve.

“It’s maybe just a much slipperier track. I know Nurburgring was cold but actually once the tyre was warm the grip on the circuit was actually high.

“Whereas [in Portugal] it was never high. It was slippery all through the weekend. Even low fuel, new tyres, nothing was ever really glued to the track. So I think it probably just exposed a little bit of our weakness there.”

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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...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Ricciardo suspects Algarve exposed Renault’s weakness”

  1. I always like reading something like this, which gives actual information about what the cars are doing.

  2. No, the tyre was key, tyre was graining, merc and fer did not run the c3 for a reason. Also ferrari were not as hampered pu wise in this track, as there is only a straight to speak of. Had Ricciardo started on mediums he’d be 15-20 secs ahead of Ocon as usual.

  3. Yes they seem to fare better on tracks like Silverstone and Spa.

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