26 November 2014
Abu Dhabi F1 in-season test: Ricciardo completes programme despite gremlins
Daniel Ricciardo ended the final day of 2014 F1 testing with his usual broad grin, despite having had his track time cut short by a mechanicl glitch.
Daniel Ricciardo was happy with his day's work at Yas Marina, despite an unspecified mechanical problem bringing his 2014 season to a premature end.
The Australian had completed 88 laps on day two of the F1 group test in Abu Dhabi, but had to stop a couple of hours from the end of the session. With the Red Bull team deciding that it needed to analyse the issue, the decision was taken to call a permanent halt to proceedings, with Ricciardo left to watch his best time slide down the order as other runners ran lighter in an end-of-day 'happy hour'.
“We put in 59 laps in the morning, which was good, and, just as yesterday, that provided an enormous amount of very useful data on tyres, some development things we're running and on software updates we were trying,” race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum commented, “The afternoon was going the same way until we had the failure and Daniel was forced to stop on track. When we got the car back to the garage, our initial investigations showed that it would take some time to be ready to go back out, so better to call a halt and have a proper look at the problem.”
Outright performance wasn't necessarily the name of the game for Ricciardo who, having finished a surprising third overall in the 2014 standings, was already working towards a better season next year. Having replaced Red Bull Junior Carlos Sainz for day two – the Spaniard had been granted a day's test by dint of winning the Renault World Series – the Australian spent much of the day comparing the latest Pirellis to the tyres he used this year, but also looked at other areas to gather important data for the winter development programme.
“We tried the 2015 tyres a few times and tried to understand them a bit more,” he confirmed, “There's a difference and I think the boys have some homework to look at to try and understand what the tyres are doing differently. The mechanical issue stopped the day early but, in the end, I think we got most of the testing done.
“We're always trying a few things - we did a few starts today, trying to understand a few things there, then there were the tyres and, as far as the car is concerned, we did some aerodynamic testing. I know Carlos did a lot yesterday and, again this morning, [we were] putting the extra sensors on the car and trying to get more feedback, more data...”
Although races and testing are done for the remainder of 2014, Ricciardo confirmed that his work would continue for a while yet, particularly with team-mate Sebastian Vettel departing for Ferrari and the less-experienced Daniil Kvyat arriving from Toro Rosso to replace him.
“I think, in the next couple of weeks, I have some simulator and a few commitments but then, in two weeks' time, I will be fully relaxed up until Christmas and New Year,” he smiled, “I'll just have some time off and then, in January, get back into it...”
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