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Ricciardo: On-board footage reveals Red Bull weaknesses

NEWS STORY
07/04/2017

Daniel Ricciardo claims that watching on-board footage has revealed where Red Bull is losing out to Mercedes and Ferrari.

Despite the fact that the new aero regulations should play into the hands of Adrian Newey and his team, and ignoring the fact that Ricciardo had a nightmare weekend in Melbourne, the fact is the RB13 was nowhere near the pace of the leaders.

"At the moment we don't have enough rear grip, downforce basically," the Australian told reporters in Shanghai "To be honest, I don't know if it's we don't have enough or we just haven't set the car up in the right way.

"I feel like we haven't got the most out of the downforce," he continued, "but in Melbourne if I watch some onboard of Ferrari or Mercedes it just looks like they have more rear grip for now. So probably we don't have as much as them, period, but I don't think we've understood it enough yet to get the most out of it. Obviously with set-up, ride heights and things like this.

"I'd say we probably haven't found the right set-up," he admitted, "but we've had enough time now, so I'd say we're still lacking and I would say it's a bit of overall downforce. At least for me as a driver that's what I feel for now and when I watch the on-boards that's what I see, but more than that I'm not sure. Whether it's geometry and that of suspension, that's probably beyond me, but as a driver I feel that the rear could be stronger.

"For me and probably for Max as well, we just felt like looking at the Ferrari and Mercedes we couldn't really attack the corner as much because they just seem more planted at the rear. Even the high speed, we can kind of match them in the high speed but I feel like me and Max are like this more than they are.

"There was an onboard that came out from I think one of Kimi's best laps in testing and at Turn 3, I think all the top teams are doing Turn 3 full and he didn't even use all the track, he didn't even let the car run out to the end. We were like: 'Wow, he's got some downforce'. It's something we probably knew early on and that's probably an area we're going to work on for now."

It's not all doom and gloom however, the Australian enthused by a number of updates the team will be running this weekend.

"I believe we learned some stuff from Melbourne and we've got some bits and pieces here, some aero stuff, that should help us have a bit more grip in the car in the rear. But there's a few more things that came out which I don't expect to be as far off as we were in Melbourne. I feel like I come here with a bit more of a comfortable car.

"There's a few things which we've probably gone back a little bit to a similar thing to last year with a few things on the set-up so it should be something that I'm probably more used to, for both of us.

"So I think from a driver comfort point of view we should be better off, hopefully that means faster as well, but I think it should be more familiar for us with some changes we make."

Inevitably, the power unit gets a mention. Asked how much the RB13 is losing out to the leaders due to its engine, the Australian said: "I would say no bigger than it has been in the past. I don't feel we're at more of a deficit now, but obviously we want to be closer. For sure, we want to be closer, but we're not worse than we have been.

"We're probably losing out in straight-line speed, I think to Mercedes we calculated about 0.4s in qualifying just on the straights, and Ferrari was maybe 0.2s. So for sure we are still slower than they are but I don't think that's related to set-up or car balance."

Check out our Friday gallery from Shanghai, here.

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