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Ricciardo “asking the team a lot of questions” about Tsunoda deficit

Daniel Ricciardo explains his approach to working with RB and understanding the pace discrepancy to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. The 34-year-old is eager to reverse his uninspiring form to start the 2024 season.

Despite being on home turf, the Australian GP was a weekend to forget for Ricciardo. An invalidated lap in Q1 made points very unlikely on Sunday.  Indeed, despite retirements from both Mercedes cars and Verstappen, the VCARB driver finished 13th.

By contrast, his young teammate scored the team’s first points of 2024 and crossed the line in P7. After the polemics from round one in Bahrain, a clearer image is emerging about how the Racing Bull duo stacks up.

Not only does this propel RB into 6th in the constructors, but it also gives Ricciardo a points deficit to recover against his opposite number.

However, the 8-time race winner is not concerned that his problems stem from a fundamental lack of pace. Instead, he believes the VCARB 01 machine is not producing the lap times he expects.

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Daniel Ricciardo clarifies speculation

Unlike during his McLaren stint, he is confident in the car. On this occasion, as he explained in Melbourne, the issue is very different:

“It has nothing to do with trust. It’s not that I wonder what the car is doing when I brake or turn. That’s not it,” motorsport-total quotes him as saying.

“I just have the impression that I often may not be able to go at the speed that Yuki can go.

“That’s why I’m asking the team a lot of questions right now. I expect things to go in the other direction pretty quickly.

“Before you know it, we’ll be back in the game. I know I’m joking said, but I really believe that. So yeah, hopefully we can turn things around.”

This is not Ricciardo’s first complaint about a car that doesn’t produce what he wants. However, it is too early in 2024 to draw any drastic conclusions.

Likewise, suggestions that Red Bull has already written him off as a candidate for next season are incorrect.

Still, while a three-race sample size is hardly definitive, observations can still be made. At this stage, the unequivocal takeaway is that Tsunoda is exceeding expectations and outperforming his teammate.

For Daniel Ricciardo, the challenge that remains is to score points and improve his head-to-head statistics against the 23-year-old.


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