Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Yas Marina, 2023

Qualifying my “Achilles’ heel” during return – Ricciardo

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says qualifying was his “Achilles’ heel” in 2023 return

Become a RaceFans Supporter and go ad-free

RaceFans operates thanks in part to the support of its readers. In order to help fund the development and growth of the site please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter.

For just £1 per month/£12 per year you will also be upgraded to an ad-free account. Sign up and find out more below:

In brief

Qualifying my “Achilles’ heel” during return – Ricciardo

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo says his qualifying performances were a weakness during his return to the grid in the second half of 2023.

Veteran Ricciardo lost his qualifying battle with team mate Yuki Tsunoda by 4-3 in the seven rounds he competed in, being eliminated from Q1 twice in Belgium and Brazil and reaching Q3 just once in Mexico.

“If I look at Brazil and [Abu Dhabi], qualifying was kind of the Achilles’ heel,” he said. “And I’ll take some responsibility for that – not maybe putting the best lap together.

“Obviously Brazil, we [fell] a lap down, but actually our pace in the race, I think we could have [been] well inside the points. Obviously these are ifs and buts and maybes, but the pace is there and it’s just really probably just sorting out the one-lap pace. Other than Mexico and a couple others, there’s a lot to be encouraged about.”

Vasseur forbids ‘what ifs’ at Ferrari

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur says his team are forbidden from lamenting where they lost second place in the constructors’ championship to Mercedes.

The team were beaten to the runners-up spot in the championship by just three points. Asked how many points he would see Ferrari having scored in an ideal season without setbacks, Vasseur said he refused to entertain the notion.

“I hate to race with ‘ifs’,” he said. “Because everybody can race with ‘if’ and do a better job. This is completely forbidden at the factory, to work with ‘if’.

“It’s not to find an excuse at all, because it’s our fault. It’s not that we are saying that ‘if this…’ – it’s where we are. Where we have to improve and so on. It’s clearly a huge potential in terms of points.”

Verstappen joins Broadbent’s charity simrace

Newly-crowned three times Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen is competing in a charity endurance simracing event organised by popular simracing personality Jimmy Broadbent.

Verstappen is sharing the #420 car which, at time of writing, currently leads the 23 hour ‘The Race for Mental Health’ charity endurance race around the Zolder circuit on the iRacing platform. The event is raising funds for the Mind mental health charity and achieved its £25,000 fundraising target long before half distance, in part thanks to the perk of viewers being able to apply penalties to drivers of their choosing by making qualifying donations.

Anyone wishing to support the fundraiser can donate via JustGiving.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

With Theo Pourchaire expressing his disappointment that he will be the third consecutive F2 champion not to race in F1 the following year, DB-C90 believes it’s more inevitable than not…

This was always going to be a problem. Most, not all of the F1 drivers are pretty young and hardly likely to be retiring any time soon, and the older ones are still pretty much at the top of their game.

The days of Minardi, etc, being on the grid solely to give young blokes a chance whilst being perennial back markers have long gone and F1 is hell-bent on making sure it stays that way.

Couple that with the safety these days that doesn’t see drivers being unable to continue due to injury (or worse) and there was never going to be a new seat for the F2 champion every year.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to French Steve!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1996, Stewart launched their first Formula 1 car, the SF1. The new team eventually became Red Bull


Don’t miss any of our RaceFans’ motorsport coverage! Get a daily update in your inbox – sign up for the free RaceFans email Newsletter here:

Author information

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...

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

30 comments on “Qualifying my “Achilles’ heel” during return – Ricciardo”

  1. Maybe expecting a female GP winner/WDC champion will do more harm than good.
    We entering F1 8th decade. For all Japanese manufacturers participation, all they got is 2 second places from japanese drivers. India only got Chandook – and I dont recall he getting any points. China now has it first driver. Only two Spanish drivers ever won a GP. One has to go back to the 1960s to find a US born GP winner.
    My point is: F1 might be sexist, but the real obstacle to a certain category of people to win in F1 is the massive competition it naturally involves not only to get a seat but a winning car.
    Discounting NZ-AUS winners and Kubica, nobody born east of Berlin ever held a 1st place trophy – more than half world population barely had any representation in F1. Expecting a female GP winner in a decade seems improbable as much as a Chinese, an Indian or an American and that doesnt mean that F1 is particularly prejudiced against half words population or the richest country in the globe.

    1. Facts are details nowadays, people will keep pushing their agenda because everything is political now.

    2. Yeah, when my daughter was 10 or so I asked if she was interested in learning to race, as I had run a race shop for FF1600, FF2000, and sports racers. She had no interest and I never pushed her even though she watched F1 with me and knew the drivers. I’m not sure what I’m trying to convey here, but women and men are different in their aspirations and goals; I’ll get flamed, but we each have our own aspirations and goals. To force an equal desire for some goal on both sexes seems to be, well, sexist.

      I’ve raced in FF1600 against women who were pretty good drivers; women should go through the same barriers all drivers encounter. For the beginning driver seat time and lack of money are the key points and the only way to get these is dedication. I spent 50% of my income for a few years in FF1600, did some okay stuff, then realized I was too old and too slow and so started a race shop business. No one gave me any sort of hand up and I knew when to quit. Women drivers, drive well, win some races and the support will come, but you have to really want it and make that a life goal and not expect to have things handed to you.

      1. She had no interest and I never pushed her even though she watched F1 with me and knew the drivers. I’m not sure what I’m trying to convey here

        If you see a sport and there are no women participating, then it’s difficult for a girl to aspire to become one in the future.

        Of course parents saying ‘you can become anything’ and also the gentle ‘push’ will help, but the biggest motivator for young kids’ aspiration is seeing others like you doing a certain sport or profession.

        1. then it’s difficult for a girl to aspire to become one

          In other words, the moral responsibility escalates from “making it easier to become” to “making it easier to aspire to become”.

          If they need help not only in getting there, but even in wanting to get there, then perhaps it is an unnecessary effort to begin with.

        2. If you see a sport and there are no women participating, then it’s difficult for a girl to aspire to become one in the future.

          And yet we’ve seen jobs that were exclusively male switch to overwhelmingly female, without special interventions. And in sports we’ve also seen women go into sports that were exclusively male without special interventions. Like fighting sports. Your theory suggests that this can’t happen and that it is impossible for women to enter jobs and sports unless we somehow force women into them, which is actually quite anti-liberal.

    3. This is exactly right. It’s hilarious to label all of F1 as ‘sexist’ because there are no female winners, as the English paper The Times does (and whose musings are amplified here). As you rightly note, not a single Asian driver has ever won a race. Not one. That’s easily over half the human population. And had it not been for Jody Scheckter, there wouldn’t be a single African either.

      Of the 50 most populated countries in the world, only 12 have produced an F1 winner: those being the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, France, United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Canada and Poland. In many cases, that’s just from a handful of different drivers. Sometimes not even; Poland and South Africa have just one. Mexico and Spain two – as does Canada, and they’re even father and son.

      Formula 1 is an English sport, and had it not been for guys like Schumacher, Vettel, Senna, Piquet and Prost the ‘wins by country’ statistics would look even more lopsided than it already does. Now… is that bad? Not necessarily. If it’s fun to watch, that’s fine. But this whole ‘world championship’ pretense is strictly about where they race. It has nothing to do with the competitors (i.e. the teams) or the drivers.

      There are a ton of barriers to competing in F1. Being a woman probably is one of them, but mostly at the junior level. Once a woman has shown herself to be somewhat competitive, it can become an advantage as hiring a woman is a great value proposition for the team and sponsors because interests is guaranteed to be high. We’ve already seen this in other series.

  2. Reacting to COD; F1 is pretty much a ‘closed shop’ now, isn’t it?

    No new teams / cars. No new drivers. No attendance for fans that don’t have $ thousands to spend

    I hate the “it was better in my day” attitude. But it’s not looking good now, is it?

    1. Yes, it was definitely better back in the day: running with heavy rain possible (without people dying left and right ofc, the 80s were already pretty safe), dominant cars existed but not to the extent we had since 2010, the driver performance mattered more than car performance relatively back then, there was no drs or the overuse of safety cars\red flags, this is just what comes to mind, there could be more.

      1. the driver performance mattered more than car performance relatively back then

        Did it really?
        If we look at Verstappen versus Perez, Albon versus Sargeant, and Alonso versus Stroll then it seems the driver has still a significant impact on the total performance.

        And even the overall competitiveness between the cars seems closer now. How often in the past did we see 10 (or even more) cars qualify within one second?
        Thus driver performance is even more important I’d say.

        1. I’m not saying driver performance no longer matters, but if you take the 90s, you see there were drivers who occasionally had a gap on their team mate of 1,5 sec in dry conditions, schumacher vs verstappen comes to mind, or even senna on prost in quali once, even though the 2 were generally competitive with each other, nowadays you don’t get this much difference, it was something that appeared even in articles of mathematical models that in recent times the impact of the driver decreased, nowadays a top driver can maybe get 5 tenths on an average driver in quali.

        2. Good point about the closeness of the car performance though, apart from red bull we’re in a situation where those few tenths can make a big difference, especially in qualifying.

      2. The problem since 2009 has been the constant re-working of the aero rules. Only the big teams keep up, and as has been shown with the current regs, that’s not even possible for teams like Ferrari and Mercedes under the budget cap.

        2024 and 2025 should be interesting, because at the moment, there are no major aero changes planned (that I’m aware of).

        But, having watched recordings of races in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there was still a very clear distinction between the “winning” cars and the rest of the grid. Even when the front was competitive, it was rare for more than 3-4 cars to be serious contenders for the win in any given race, barring retirements.

      3. @esploratore1 I think there may be some element of romanticising the 1980s – if you look at the records of that decade, half of that decade didn’t see a single wet race occur, and, proportionally speaking, you’re actually much more likely to see wet weather races occurring now than in the 1980s.

        Added to that, the 1980s did actually see several races being red flagged because of wet weather – the 1981 Belgian and French GP’s and the 1984 Monaco GP are a couple of examples of races being red flagged then due to heavy rain.

        1. Yes, I’m familiar with monaco 1984, a questionable decision to red flag at that point as there had been no crashes for the last few laps, and there were races like australia 1989 where drivers felt conditions were terrible but raced for the constructor’s championship and the likes, prost even decided to retire after 1 lap as he had already won the championship in that occasion, however there were plenty of other wet races that actually happened, it’s very sad to watch f1 in the 2020s and have to go back to 30-40 years before to find proper wet races.

          The wet races that happen now, even though there’s been quite some wet sessions this year, are in intermediate or almost dry conditions, that’s what I miss from the old ones.

    2. Oh, yes, and ofc you said it yourself, there were at least 13 teams, sometimes more, including some that regularly failed to qualify.

    3. you only have to watch some of the old races to see how much WORSE it was when you were young! And that’s the cherry picked Classic races. Of course back then you were smooth skinned, bold and frisky, but F1 had Murray Walker screaming all the time, cars miles apart on track, one team inventing blown diffusers or double diffusers or a turbo or doing a McLaren 1988 winning everything, bad pictures with like 4 cameras, Bernie the used car guy scheming with Max Mosley the sado orgying guy, drivers being killed in flaming fireballs…

      There’s a good reason you “hate the “it was better in my day” attitude” and that’s because it wasn’t :)
      Not saying things are prefect now, and if Liberty do sell to Saudi freaking male guardian Arabia I will stop, but things use to be even worse!

      1. I would argue that the races back in the day are just as good as races now. It is just that the way you are shown them wasn’t as good. If there is nothing interesting happening at the front in modern day F1, you can be kept interested by the timing tower which helps you see what is happening throughout the grid, and the race will focus on some midfield battle at the front. In the 1980s, the TV directors focussed exclusively on the lead battles, and if there was a great battle further back for 8th, you would never even know about it, as you would just be watching Ayrton Senna or Alain Prost going round and round in the lead. It wasn’t the racing that was worse, it was the TV directing that was worse, and the level of graphics on the screen. Going back further, there is only tiny snippets of muddy footage of most races in the 1950s and the 1960s, there is no way you could watch one of those and say that it was one of the greatest races of all time based on that. But we know from reading race reports from the time that those races were just as brilliant as races nowadays, if not more brilliant, it is just that you couldn’t watch it as well. But that is not a problem if you are living in the 1950s and have nothing since then to compare it to.

        1. ah, okay, honestly I have no idea except when I search a lot of races in the 50’s and 60’s races seem to have been won by a lap! Anyway we like to complain don’t we but things aren’t all bad

        2. This is a good point, I recently watched the 3rd most recent full wet race in spa (before what should’ve been 2021 and ofc 1998), which was in 1989 and there weren’t a lot of overtakes, but although we complain a lot of bad f1 direction nowadays and missing important stuff due to unimportant replays or not switching to where overtakes are actually happening in time, back then they missed stuff like cars retiring and not showing what issue they had and there were rarely replays when they missed retirements.

          In australia 1991 I know schumacher had a crash, but I wasn’t able to find it at all, they seem to have missed it and no replay.

      2. Lewisham Milton
        10th December 2023, 10:41

        Not saying things are prefect now

        Can’t put it any better than that!

      3. Drivers being killed in fireballs is way earlier than than we’re talking about, lauda survived already in 1976 and the track that happened in was gone quickly after that.

        1. which ‘we’ is this? your other accounts aren’t actual people, don’t forget :) The original post just said “in my day” so i’m just guessing when that was. But I watch the ‘Classic Races’ and even tho these are supposed to be the best they still aren’t as good to watch as the good current ones.

          Some of that is the production, fair enough, but that still doesn’t make the complaining and fond reminiscing any better

  3. Nice trophy & possibly the first time an F1 team has received Guinness World Records certificate.

    1. Coventry Climax
      10th December 2023, 10:35

      The three big letters on it means I wouldn’t want it in my home – period.
      If it were given to me, I’d auction it off immediately and give a very substantial part -if not all of it- of what was paid, to charity or Ukraine.

    2. Doubt it was a World Guinness Record but reminded me of this, from 1987:

      Always good to see the Österreichring, but those old stops seem to take for ever!

  4. Well this year is serving up some treats – first Penny Mordaunt brandishing a massive sword in an ancient ceremony, and now Penny Mordaunt mentioning Red Bull and quoting Murray Walker in Parliament. As Alan Partridge would say: ‘oh Penny….’

  5. Did Ricciardo participate this year? Must have missed it.

  6. and that funding has invariably gone to boys

    Where is the evidence for this? Men don’t get a male-only series, unlike the women. Judging by their success in other series, the W Series drivers were quite overpaid. For example, Jamie Chadwick got $0 for her 9th place in the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship. Even if she had won, it would have been just $40k in prize money. Then in 2021, she earned $500k for her first place in the W Series. The actual disparity is even bigger, as W Series drivers did not have to pay for their seat, unlike pretty much any other low-level series. So if you account for the subsidies that the drivers were getting with their free seats, the actual disparity in pay was enormous between W Series and other low level series.

    Of course, most money will always go to the best performing drivers, which are mostly men. That is only unfair if female drivers with the same talent and commitment don’t get the same funding & support. But is that the case? Just look at how Max’ sister didn’t want to put in the effort. It seems that Jos would have put as much effort into her career if she had put in as much effort and put up with Jos as Max, but she didn’t (arguably, this was the healthier choice, although Max seems to have ended up pretty decent despite the abuse). So we had a driver that quite possibly had sufficient talent for F1. It’s hard to imagine getting closer to have equal opportunity to a F1 champion than being their sibling. And yet she bailed. Not due to a lack of funding & support, but due to a lack of commitment.

    Of course that is just one anecdote, but is there any solid evidence that women of the same ability and commitment are underfunded?

Comments are closed.