Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2023

Ricciardo’s first run back at Red Bull “didn’t click straight away” – engineer

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo made huge progress between his first simulator run on his return to Red Bull and the test for the team which secured his racing comeback, says his former race engineer.

In brief

Ricciardo impressed engineer with F1 comeback test

Simon Rennie, who was Ricciardo’s race engineer when he drove for Red Bull, said he was “definitely not as confident” as he remembered when he began simulator sessions after returning to the team earlier this year. “Just like a little bit hollow in a way.”

The pair were speaking together in an interview for Red Bull conducted before Ricciardo broke his hand at Zandvoort last month. Rennie told him: “It felt like you were doubting yourself a little bit. And you were a bit concerned about whether you could do it again. It didn’t necessarily click straight away in the simulator and it took you – that first day that we did together, you still seemed a little bit unsure of it all.”

However Ricciardo’s first drive back at his old team for a Pirelli tyre test at Silverstone left Rennie in no doubt he was back to his best. “You couldn’t really tell that he hadn’t been in the car for eight months,” he explained. “The first run, maybe on the installation lap you were reminded how quick the cars were. But after that, within a few laps it was just like you were driving a car the last week, not last year. That was quite – I don’t know if you were surprised about that, but I was quietly impressed about that.”

Hamilton lucky to escape serious damage in Piastri clash

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says Lewis Hamilton was fortunate to avoid any significant damage from his clash with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri during the Italian Grand Prix. After the incident, which occurred while they were fighting for eighth place, Hamilton made several passes to finish sixth.

“We were quite lucky because the contact was all on the wheel rim and the tyre,” said Shovlin. “There is a little bit of damage to the rim, there is a little bit of damage to the wheel cover on it, but nothing that would have affected the performance of the car.”

Pirelli finish Italian tyre test

Pirelli concluded their two-day Formula 1 tyre test in Italy on Wednesday, with running at Monza and Ferrari’s test track Fiorano.

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly did 122 laps of Monza, with a 1:24.971 being his fastest lap, as he tried out slick compounds. Charles Leclerc clocked up 130 laps of Fiorano on intermediate and wet compound tyres as the track’s sprinkler systems were put to use. Combining the two days of action, which included Red Bull joining Alpine at Monza on Tuesday, there was 2922 kilometres of testing.

Pirelli is bidding to remain as F1’s official tyre supplier after 2024 against competition from Bridgestone. Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola said: “Our goal during these two days was to finalise some of the choices for next year but also to work on the long-term future, even though we do not yet know whether we will continue to supply F1 from 2025. We don’t get that many chances to test on track so we need to maximise every single one.”

Myles Rowe secures his 2024 Indy Nxt seat

Myles Rowe, winner of this year’s USF Pro 2000 championship and a protege of IndyCar champion Will Power, has signed with HMD Motorsports to race in Indy Nxt in 2024.

The 23-year-old won a $664,500 (£569,936) scholarship to step up to the next level on IndyCar’s support ladder by claiming the USFP2000 title last weekend at Portland. During the season he won five races and took four pole positions.

Rowe’s car will be backed by Penske Entertainment’s Race for Equality and Change initiative. It will be entered as a ‘HMD Motorsports with Force Indy’ – the latter programme having supported his career since 2021.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

There is fierce debate right now about what Max Verstappen’s record-breaking run of ten grand prix wins in a row means for his position among the greatest F1 drivers of all time, and more specifically how he compares to rival Lewis Hamilton given both have benefitted from years where they have been in the dominant car. But could considering achievements outside of F1 actually help demonstrate the difference the driver is making in the cockpit with their results?

For me, the greatest of all time is Jim Clark. In the 1960s, between the injury of Stirling Moss and the emergence of Jackie Stewart, he was in a class of his own despite strong opposition in Hill, Gurney and Surtees. His ‘trail-braking’ style of driving put him clear of the opposition both in speed, and he did it so smoothly that he looked after his car far better than anyone else, and even once used the same set of tyres for four consecutive races, winning the last three.

He won a race by five minutes in torrential rain driving one handed to hold the gearstick in place, won by turning his engine off in the corners to save oil, almost won on merit in a two-litre car in a three-litre formula and almost won from a lap behind after a puncture before more mechanical problems set in. In 1965 he won every race he finished in F1, and won the Indianapolis 500, and Formula 2, and the Tasman Series, all in a car that arguably wasn’t even the best. I don’t think anyone will ever surpass Jim Clark as the greatest of all time.
F1 frog

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Stephen and F1Sauber!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

23 comments on “Ricciardo’s first run back at Red Bull “didn’t click straight away” – engineer”

  1. Ric needs to start looking for a WEC drive or go to Indy. F1 seems to be a real struggle for him now. I don’t think I remember a driver lose it like this. Maybe Vettel? Maybe it was just that they both looked good in the Red Bulls of that era?

    1. I think he could try Nascar first.

    2. @darryn I agree

  2. Jim Clark – yes, for all the many many years I’ve been following F1, the best.

    1. Whoa that’s a long time ago. I began watching Sir Jackie Stewart, I was there in a few of his races. I was doing karting by then (not very successfully) but unfortunately the greats Fangio el Chueco and Moss the Boy had retired, and worse yet Clark and Ascari had bought the farm in their prime.

  3. I know the Hamilton Piastri clash has been done to death in a previous article but …
    I feel like Hamilton has a record of doing this to new drivers who are putting up a fight, a little bit of a shot across the bow, I’m not sure if it is to show them how life is in F1, or to show them how he will react if pushed or just shutting them down so they are more wary next time. In this instance I think Hamilton knew where Piastri was and intended to either push Piastri’s right wheels onto the grass and down the escape road or knock off his front wing, he just misjudged it slightly and hit his wheel. I feel like this is what he did to Albon when Albon was showing some promise in the RedBull early on.
    Anyway I don’t think it is just Hamilton who does this, I think it’s a general driver intimidation tactic, hopefully Piastri can step up and deliver some back, which he might have been been doing by staying there instead of backing out, only they know.

    I expect similar from Lando if Piastri starts showing similar pace.

    1. Yes, and he picked on the wrong guy this time. Piastri has no intention of being intimidated by anyone and that includes his team-mate.
      Also, this was a clash of opposites in a way: one on his way out with his days now largely behind him, and the other at the start of what promises to be a long illustrious career.

    2. Yes and I do not agree that Sir was lucky to avoid damage. Sir has this kind of move practiced to death and does is masterfully. And never ever think it was unintentional. No damage, no penalty or a ineffectual one, what has Sir to lose?

  4. Clearly some bitterness in Alonso’s view.

    After 15 years, I still view that decision incorrect & unfair because it was done retroactively rather than based on any rule already in place beforehand, as should always be the case.
    A fair outcome would’ve been a warning that, for future reference, penalties would come if that happens again.

    1. Fred is mostly right in my view but it is not very classy to say that.

      The 15 year ago penalty I guess does not refer to Fred’s comments but to the Spa 2008 penalty. Well if you believe this was new you have not watched Suzuka 2005, a truly great race, only that Fred should have won it, not Kimi, it was there where they came out with the penalty out of nowhere. The Spa penalty was absolutely deserved, only way too lenient.

  5. Alonso isn’t exactly wrong when he says neither Max nor Lewis built teams. However, neither should they be expected to. F1 today isn’t like the F1 of the Schumacher days where teams were relatively speaking much smaller. It is just infeasible to expect such things today.

    Most importantly, Verstappen did spend years fighting without a competitive car, and Hamilton did have good years like 2012 where you can say he was let down by his team. It was only right Hamilton looked for a way out back then, and in Verstappen’s case sticking with Red Bull proved to be the right choice. At the end of the day, there’s an element of luck but there’s also the general way the team grows that’s important. With RB they always kept improving since they appointed Wache as a technical director and I feel he’s the main man behind this domination, much more than Newey, who is more of a supervisor today (at least from my understanding). And Mercedes were hiring the heads of multiple teams when they were building, so it did seem that they’d eventually succeed — the magnitude and timeline was the only unprecedented thing.

    At some level, I find all of Alonso’s career choices reasonable except McHonda. McLaren was a sinking ship, and yet he left Ferrari who at least I felt were not going down as badly but still not good enough, to go to a worse team. Hindsight and all but yeah it was that decision that cost him more than anything.

    Should have been a 5 time wdc or something but yeah anyways. At least good to see him with a better car than he has had In a decade and still being able to do well.

    1. Divers are not building a team or responsible for a car but I think that they can emulate a team around them to provide feedback and improve the development, to motivate the team to stay sharp on strategy, setup and other important aspects that can extend a run of good results. And I think that Verstappen and Hamilton have both had good synergies with their teams to do so.

      Mixed views on Alonso in that context that might have pushed it too far and caused some fires that were not so positive for the team and eventually costing him sitting in the car.

      1. @jeanrien

        Probably the most balanced view I have seen in many threads across many sites.
        Alonso went to McLaren expecting the rookie Hamilton to hang on his every word etc. I think that in retrospect he realises he did it wrong, less time politicking and more time working on upping his game would have been better.
        It is still a bit of a burr in his side that 2007 worked out the way it did, and a rookie sits higher in the records than a two time WDC. An impressive feat from Hamilton, but not one a rookie could pull off if the experienced competition in the same team had kept their focus on the racing.

        1. At Hungaroring the McL team (and the father of the chauffeur, I do not now if was at the time an official member of the McL team) lobbied very hard to get a penalty for Fred. And got it with no rule to justify it, for a internal dispute of the team that affected nobody else and that was provoked because the chauffeur pulled a fast one on Fred against the turn agreements and the team orders.
          AFAIK never has a team lobbied to get a penalty for one of his members.

          Although I very much supported Fred I was happy that Kimi won in the end for Ferrari because I could not bear McL winnng.
          I am not a believer but I wish I could believe in H3ll so all those implied would pay for it burning there for all eternity. Beginning with Ron Dennis and Mr Hamilton Sr.

    2. I’m not sure Verstappen didn’t (help to) build a WCC and WDC winning team.

      He arrived in that team when it was not championship material, stayed for several years while it got better and better, then it did become a multiple championship team. That seems to me the definition of building a team? In that respect it is similar to Schumacher at Ferrari.

      A driver is only ever a part of that process of course, but while it is a nonsence to say a driver is primarily responsible for building a team, it is equally nonsensical to say a driver has no contribution to building a championship winning team. It’s a team.

      Lewis (and Toto) are different in that regard, in that they landed in a team that already had everything to be F1 champions (especially in the engine department). They harvested that quite well for years, but are not championship contenders any more.
      If they stay and succeed in making Mercedes championship winners again in 2024+, they can claim the same accomplishment.

      1. Lewis (and Toto) are different in that regard, in that they landed in a team that already had everything to be F1 champions (especially in the engine department).

        Extracting a chunk of well known ‘pedia text describing the W04 (what Lewis (and Toto) dropped into):

        “The W04 endured a difficult start to its season. Although Hamilton and Rosberg secured two podium finishes and three consecutive pole position starts within the first five races, the car developed a reputation for being notoriously harsh on its tyres during a time when tyre supplier Pirelli was faced with heavy criticism for the delicate structure of its tyre compounds, and the narrow operating window, which exacerbated the W04’s inherent flaws. This was evidenced in the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix, where Nico Rosberg qualified on pole for both races, but went on to finish them in ninth and sixth places respectively. ”

        Yep, definite world beater stuff. Or not.
        The comment from the engineers was that they didn’t understand what Lewis fed back, the comment from Lewis was that he didn’t understand what they were describing on the technicals. Once each learned to speak the others’ language somewhat, the techies made a car more like a driver would like.
        What strikes me is that the rapid development progress made from that point, had not happened when Schumacher and Brawn were there.

        1. Missing close quote on the first sentence.
          This forum really could do with a comment edit feature…

        2. What strikes me is that the rapid development progress made from that point, had not happened when Schumacher and Brawn were there.

          After the illegal secret tyre test you mean (15th-17th May) directly after the Spanish GP?

    3. I’m not sure how smaller teams were back in the day, considering that the budgets went as high as almost half a billion dollars per year (3x bigger than today, and if you add real inflation, that must be like 7-8x at least). I know what you mean, but it is kinda relative. They had less technology than now, 25 or so years after, as well as less specialized crew of engineers etc., but they could conduct tests for as long as they care to, build as many cars as they need, even use reserve cars until that was banned… Ferrari was a huge team back then.

      1. Mclaren and Ferrari were the power-houses with like 300 people per team in the late 90s-early 00s. Now Haas probably has more personnel, while being as much client team as possible. And, yeah, back then it was madness with tests – 130-160 days per year, one or two testing teams running laps on one or two tracks pretty much every day.

  6. However Ricciardo’s first drive back at his old team for a Pirelli tyre test at Silverstone left Rennie in no doubt he was back to his best.

    Ricciardo’s best at Silverstone compared to Max in qualifying:
    -2016 +0.305s
    -2017 +0.488s (practice times, as qualifying wasn’t representative)
    -2018 +0.497s

    Since Ricciardo is 0.5s slower than Max around Silverstone, we can conclude if Max got pole this year, then Ricciardo would’ve been P7 or P8.

    1. Since Ricciardo is 0.5s slower than Max around Silverstone, we can conclude if Max got pole this year, then Ricciardo would’ve been P7 or P8.

      and Perez qualified 15th, but RBR say Perez is good for 2024. Something missing from the info then.

  7. Alonso is 100% correct. Most drivers don’t build anything, they just luck in getting good seats at the right time.

    F1 is way too complex for someone who only gets in the car and drives to build a winning culture around him.

    One can say Schumacher did that, but it’s easier to think Ferrari did that themselves when they signed him and everybody he wanted there without hesitation to make this project work. The best driver of the time and the people who achieved success with him on his previous team.

    On the other hand Toyota spent a decade there wasting more money than everybody else without great results and did nothing about it until they gave up.

Comments are closed.