Ricciardo hopes for rain


If there's anyone watching the sky and the weather radar ahead of today's French Grand Prix, it will be Daniel Ricciardo.

With Red Bull putting its two drivers on separate set-up strategies, the Australian on high-downforce and his Dutch teammate, Max Verstappen, on low-downforce, Ricciardo admits that the weather gods will play a vital role in his race.

"It needs to be wet or if it's cold, it's probably the worst for me," said the Australian. "It makes the rear tyres last and it's just going to give us more understeer and it will make the one-stop easier with the ultrasoft.

"If it's dry, it needs to be really hot so there is tyre wear," he continued, "so maybe me with a bit more downforce it'll be OK.

“Either yesterday or raining..." he added, referring to his ideal conditions, "not this afternoon... that can go away!"

Qualifying fourth and fifth, the 0.190s advantage enjoyed by Verstappen is almost certainly much to do with the set-up difference.

Explaining the difference in set-up with Verstappen, he said: "We split the cars yesterday (Friday) with downforce levels. Max went low, I was higher.

"We were pretty evenly matched yesterday but it looked like the low was worth trying for sure. We put that on to try it out in FP3 but didn't get to try it because of the weather so then we were like, 'do we jump into qualifying with something we haven't run yet?' We decided to go with what we ran yesterday with and we know.

"We still had a lot of front wing in hand," he revealed. "More downforce, you're going to understeer and you'll need more front wing but at the end of Q1, we had already used every bit of front wing we had and still had understeer. We were a bit slow on the straights but we couldn't balance it.

"If you have understeer, you know you can do other things with the car but in qualifying, your hands are tied. It was more than we hoped and expected. Not much more to do in qualifying."

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Published: 24/06/2018
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