5 April 2015
F1 Chinese Grand Prix: Ricciardo happy to contend with Shanghai tyre wear
Despite being forced to drive some laps 'like your grandma', Daniel Ricciardo will take the Chinese Grand Prix tyre choice over some others on offer in F1....
Daniel Ricciardo has mixed feelings about F1's annual trip to China, but insists that he is more than ready to put up with the extreme tyre wear the teams will face next weekend.
The Australian has endured a tough start to 2015, with the under-performing Renault engine hampering his efforts to keep on terms with Mercedes and Ferrari and leaving him only eighth in the drivers' championship after sixth- and tenth-place finishes in Melbourne and Malaysia respectively. With China next on the schedule, Ricciardo and Red Bull will face another different challenge, with the cooler temperatures and short tyre 'life' – which the team claims is measured in 'corners rather than laps' – key factors to be considered.
“I'd call it 'technical',” the three-time GP winner said of the Shanghai International Circuit, “Turns one, two and three are all very long and technical - I don't think there's any other corner like it on the calendar. And it's very, very aggressive on the front tyres.
“It's pretty extreme, but I'd still prefer it to the scenario with a tyre that takes three laps to come in. The fact it comes in straight away is awesome. In qualifying, you drive the out-lap like your grandma, desperately trying to not kill it before the flying lap starts!”
The Australian also has his own take on the long back straight at SIC, with a word of warning to any rivals who may dismiss it.
“Yep, it's long alright,” Ricciardo confirms with his trademark grin, “You could drink a can of Red Bull driving down it!
“I've heard quite a few drivers saying it's pretty boring. Ha! If they think it's boring in an F1 car, they should have tried coming here in Formula BMW! I drove here as a kid, all massive afro and enthusiasm and, trust me, it was the sort of straight where I'd definitely have been reaching for a book if I'd had one….
If SIC isn't Ricciardo's favourite venue, Bahrain International – where the F1 circuit heads just a week later is rumoured to be the Australian's 'second favourite at Sakhir'…
“Yeah, there's a really good go-kart track next to the circuit,” he explains, “Last year, after testing, you could go down there and hang out with the guys working at the track and do a few laps – obviously in your race overalls and helmet trying to look as cool as possible!”
Despite that, he is looking forward to returning to a venue he considers amongst his favourites – hopefully with a few points in his pocket from China.
“[Bahrain] was the location of possibly my best qualifying lap ever, so I've got a few nice memories of Sakhir,” he reflects, “Over one lap, there's nothing that really has the 'wow' factor but, for racing, it's a little better. There's some tricky corners - turn ten is a funny turning-turning-braking-braking [corner] that's very technical, and when you get it right it feels good.
“Last year, the race was one of the best. You can pass, and moving to an evening race spices things up a little. It kept you guessing with the tyres…..”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.