Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Ricciardo admits he’s not driven well enough to justify Red Bull return

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo said he realised early this year that he wasn’t performing well enough to deserve being re-hired by Red Bull.

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In brief

Ricciardo ‘frustrated by my performances’

Having missed out on a seat at Red Bull in 2025, following their announcement they will retain Sergio Perez for two more seasons, Ricciardo admitted that he was not happy with his performances from an early stage this year.

“I look at my season honestly and I know that, yes, although Miami was amazing, that one good result is not going to be enough when you’re maybe trying to get a top seat in the sport,” he told RDS. “That’s not enough.

“I’ve been probably frustrated in some of my own performances where I’m just not having that consistency week-in, week-out.”

Ricciardo went into his first full year back in F1 hoping to secure a return to F1 but admitted “already after the first few races all my attention was really on here [RB] and how I can keep doing better.

“The story in my head, and the nice way to finish my career, I’ve said, of course I’d love to go back to Red Bull. But I simply need to be doing a bit better here before anything like that can possibly happen.”

Montreal’s Senna tribute

Kerbs painted in tribute to Ayrton Senna, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is paying tribute to Senna
The kerbs at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve’s opening corners have been painted green and yellow for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix in tribute to Ayrton Senna.

The triple world champion died thirty years ago during a tragic San Marino Grand Prix weekend at Imola where fellow driver Roland Ratzenberger also lost his life. Senna and Ratzenberger were remembered at this year’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, while several drivers have raced with Senna-inspired helmet designs featuring the Brazilian driver’s green and yellow colours from the Brazilian flag.

Although not regularly referred to as such, the opening sequence of corners at the Montreal circuit have been officially named ‘Virage Senna’ since the nineties, following Senna’s death.

Martins and Maini complete Alpine tests

Alpine junior drivers Victor Martins and Kush Maini both tested a ground effect Formula 1 car for the first time this week at the Red Bull Ring. McLaren and Aston Martin also ran their 2022 cars at the track earlier this week.

Martins ran the second day of a two-day test in a 2022 A522 yesterday. Both drivers had previously driven a 2021 Alpine A521 and this was their first experience behind the wheel of a modern ground effect car.

“It was another positive test for me, and it was a great opportunity to learn as much as possible,” Martins said. “We maximised the day’s running, going through both qualifying and race simulations. To have the track to myself and get the maximum enjoyment out of the car was an added bonus after a tough start to my Formula 2 season, it certainly reaffirmed my confidence as a driver.”

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Comment of the day

With the FIA revealing their plans for the 2026 F1 regulations, here are two different reactions from Salty and Bob

Okay, DRS may be an artificial overtaking device, but at least a fan willing to hoof out hundreds of Euros, Dollars or Riyal can see the DRS flap open on the straight when a car made it within a second in the DRS detection zone.

Some invisible, computer-controlled, electronic boost doesn’t set my heart racing, nor have me reaching for my wallet. Having said that, I really don’t want Liberty adding flares or neon to cars when the rubbish thing is engaged/deployed. So quite probably I should put a sock in it and not give them ideas.

Oh, and the 10cm and 37kg reductions are pointless. Take 150cm or 200cm off. And 100kg – give these world-beating designers a challenge. But do give them the freedom to be creative or F1 is just another prosaic exhibition of limiting great drivers – *cough* Monaco* cough*.

Maybe the racing will be amazing, but I seriously doubt it.

Seemingly unlike the other comments, I’m actually pretty excited for these regulations. As long as the engine issues don’t end up being a reality, that is – which I have confidence about based on how they’ve changed how the electrical deployment will work.

Yes, this model looks like an F2 car, but the real cars won’t look anything like this. Go look at the original 2022 model and compare it to any of the cars we’ve seen in this set of regulations. It doesn’t looks like any of them. Even more so when you look at the original version when we thought they’d be the 2021 regs. It looks likes it’ll keep a lot of the good aesthetics from the current cars, while replacing the ugly aspects (especially the front and rear wings) with much better new designs. Just picture this car with the current-gen sidepods, a much slimmer nose, and more developed wings. It’ll be great.

Not to mention, a lot of the design changes seem great. Finally it looks like we’ll see in-wash wings returns and the cars will be lighter and not as long which not only improves racing, but also makes the cars look nimbler and more exciting. I think the EV power and active aero will be a better system to DRS, and while it’ll need to be honed it, it’ll hopefully allow for more exciting overtakes even if they’re simple. Sweeping around the outside with more downforce and power might still be too easy, but at least it’ll be more spectacular then breezing by down the straight before the braking zone. Sure, some people here are complaining about narrower cars, but that’ll improve things significantly for narrower circuits like Monaco and Singapore. The detriment will be that there’s less of a draft down the straights which should hopefully be overcome by having low drag aero modes and higher power modes.

Yes, things aren’t guaranteed to be great, and if one team nails the regulations, the title fight won’t be particularly exciting. However, these cars seem like they’ll be more beautiful than any of the regs since 2009 and will be even more exciting to watch. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I, for one, am pretty excited.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Owen, Timtoo, Dot_Com and Dawnj86!

On this day in motorsport

Jenson Button, Brawn GP, Istanbul, 2009
Jenson Button scored the last victory of his championship-winning campaign today in 2009

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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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16 comments on “Ricciardo admits he’s not driven well enough to justify Red Bull return”

  1. Let’s go team Bob! So many glass-half-empty people on team Salty.

    Haters gonna hate but I was really surprised to see so much complaints about the first regulation change – essentially in F1’s history (as highlighted by the other article here) that is heading in the right direction of smaller and lighter cars. No matter how small that step is.

  2. That BGP001 looks light, nimble and much closer to my personal image of a race-car. Sounds better too IMO.
    Honestly miss naturally aspirated engines… even the farty blown diffuser cars!

    1. Looks great doesn’t it!

    2. @drone back in 2009, many posters on this site were decrying those cars as ugly and awkward looking monstrosities – and, indeed, you yourself made some rather derogatory comments about those cars at the time. Now we’ve gone from complaining that they were slow and ugly to saying that those cars “look great”?

      1. There are certainly some features of this generation I didn’t like. The rear wing to front wing proportions looked odd…. BUT… Compared.to what we have now, it’s stunning. I think 2005 Renault was peak F1 for me in terms of how an F1 car should be, followed closely by the 89 MP4/5. Every year had something I didn’t like. I actually liked the idea of turbo hybrids initially… But they turned out obese and devoid of character. There’s nothing like the drive-ability and throttle sensitivity of a highly strung naturally aspirated engine mated to a little lightweight chassis. It’s so pure…and coupled with the howl of the engines, it gives me goosebumps. If only the 2005 cars were full slicks with no traction control, it would have been F1 nirvana.

      2. Brawn is fine apart from the front and rear wings.
        But yeah, to say those cars were beautiful is trying to rewrite history, they were hideous. Renault and BMW’s models were so ugly they had to tweak the paint scheme just for it to look a bit less like a cheap plastic toy.

  3. Let’ see if I got this right, Re 2026.

    Modes X and Z will be used in every straight longer than 3 sec (well, I guess it will be forbidden at Monaco tunnel and wet conditions), regardless the distance to the car ahaead, even immediately after SC (it is safe with low pressures?). OK.

    Then every team will feature very high downforce levels at every circuit, since you can tweak it to Monza-spec at the straights. Srt up will include some variations in angle attack, but mostly ride heights and stiffness. OK.

    Then you will have to follow a car under very high downforce levels, which means high tuebulence and dirty air, so you won’t be able to follow close. And then comes the straight… and your tow will be lowered because both of yoy run on low-drag config. Thus making overtaking incredibly hard (only by meana lf aero).

    For addressing that, we got.this new P2P system. I read that 0.5 MJ figure and compared it to the 0.4 MJ the 2009-2013 KERS allowed to use per lap. In another RF article it is stated this 0.5 MJ is also per lap, so the P2P will be a little bit more powerful but only at the very end of some very long straights. Will that be enough?

    I mean, Hungary for instance. How many seconds of the main straight will you be surpassing the 290 kph in order to use the extra 350 kW? Will you reach 337 kph? I highly doubt so.

    Then, could you explain me how on Earth would you be able to overtake in circuits with straights shorter than, say, 1 km?

    Thank you.

    1. It’s hard to say as of now, because a lot of the moveable aero is meant to bring the cars to top speed quicker, not to make top speeds higher (as with DRS). One, to cap the output of the motor earlier, and now also to facilitate this overtake mode. Otherwise, as you note, its use case could be quite limited.

      I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how fast the 2026 cars reach that 340km/h. It might be a lot quicker than today.

  4. No wonder I’ve never heard about the ‘Virage Senna’ term for the first two corners, although repainting curbs from the standard red-white to green-yellow combination is a nice tribute.

    This waiting game Sainz does could, in the worst-case scenario, lead to others (effectively Bottas & Ocon) making moves first & thus leaving him with only something to pick up.

    That cute groundhog will probably invade the track in at least one session.

    FIA should go for the shortest possible wheelbase or narrowest width/shortest length combo to give maximum flexibility for overall weight reduction, but any weight reduction is better than nothing, & I don’t see anything wrong with electric boost or active aero replacing DRS.

  5. notagrumpyfan
    7th June 2024, 7:30

    Salty makes an excellent point that DRS is bad, but at least we could see when it was engaged.
    Now it is either not visible or we get some gimmicky lightshow.

    I see that FIA is still claiming an almost 50-50 energy split, whilst this is nothing more than a power split (i.e. energy burst).

    The ‘regen’ of 8.5MJ/lap is very impressive though (I guess they burn some 7-8MJ of petrol each lap). But I doubt they can recover so much just through regenerative braking, and will thus charge the battery a lot through the ICE. This now means burning extra fuel just to charge the battery, rather than to tweak more (useful) energy out of the fuel by recovering the excess heat (like the MGU-H did).
    I doubt this PU will ever get back to over 50% energy efficiency. This means that we will spend a lot of green energy (solar, wind, etc) to produce ‘sustainable (marketing) fuel’ to then burn it back to greenhouse gases without ever using half of that energy!

    1. Most fans are annoyed with DRS as it is superficial. Now most casual won’t even know about the extra power for the attacking car. It will all depend how it is tuned and I wish they would adjust it if needed (but don’t have too high hopes on that).

      Less downforce might be interesting for some corners, maybe a bit more sliding around coming which is always exciting to see. Can it actually put more back into the hands of the drivers? I’m all for that.

      As for the looks, we will have to get used to it, can’t be worse than the platypus noses.

  6. 15 years ago today an error by Sebastian Vettel helped Jenson Button take what turned out to be his final win in Brawn’s BGP001

    I wonder how many more races the Brawn would have won if the other teams were limited by a cost cap and current aero-testing time limits

  7. After reading some of the details of the 2026 regulations, I realise I had a different expectation for how the active aero elements would be used. I had assumed that the increased downforce configuration would be a kind of ‘reverse DRS’, where cars which were following closely behind another could activate the increased downforce mode to offset some of the effect of the dirty air from the car in front, allowing them to stay closer in the corners and providing opportunities to overtake. However, it seems that active aero is just going to be a method of increasing the efficiency and overall performance of the cars.

    I guess my concern with all this is that making the cars very streamlined on the straights will reduce the wake significantly, meaning that slipstreaming becomes a less important part of racing, and drivers will just have to rely on the extra power boost to perform overtakes. So, maybe it will be unnecessary to tuck in behind the lead car and pull out at the last second, instead they can just play it safe and drive alongside them with the extra electrical power at the end of the straights.

    I’m not a naysayer like a lot of commenters seem to be, and I’ll wait to see the results before coming to any conclusions, but I do wonder if these changes will lead to better racing. Or like most regulation changes, will it just spread out the field with one team (perhaps a different one) becoming dominant for a few years before the field starts to converge, then the next regulation change will open things up and the cycle starts again.

    1. It seems a necessity more than a grand design. The battery is too small to allow full use of the motor at all times, and certain tracks will probably not even allow for the intended 9MJ recovery per lap.

      But F1 had to have this 50/50 split for marketing purposes, so something had to give. Especially since they also decided to ditch the MGU-H to lure in the VW group.

  8. Had the cycling situation happened in F1 (assuming it was a race and not practise), and the flood not been detected prior to the race start sequence beginning, the race would likely have continued until the first competitor fell down/slid aside dramatically/[insert major visible sign of impending disaster], at which point the red flag would be flown. This would, admittedly, have avoided the big, injury-inducing crashes in the cycling race.

  9. Surprised no one even mentioned ricciardo, given the headline, anyway I would agree with him that 1, or even 3 good races in a season aren’t enough, that reminds of vettel or raikkonen in the last year at ferrari.

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