Daniel Ricciardo says he doesn't expect a repeat of the issues that hampered is performance in the Austrian Grand Prix to be a factor at this weekend's Silverstone round.
The Australian finished fifth from a similar place on the grid at the Red Bull Ring, but had neither team-mate Max Verstappen's pace or tyre life as he trailed the Dutchman by three spots at the chequered flag. Admitting that he could either have pushed hard or
attempted to preserve his rubber, Ricciardo was in something of a quandary – and admits that he could not pin down the exact reason for his woes.
“I think we could have got to the end with the softs,” he noted, “In terms of life, I could have managed it to the end, but we were just slow. I couldn't keep the pace that the guys in front had, and the tyres weren't getting any better, I was like 'let's just try pitting' because, if a safety car comes out or something, it puts us back in the race but at that moment we were just circulating really.
“We've just been looking into it, in terms of what we could have done different or better to keep life in the tyres, [but] there's nothing really obvious. With these tyres, it's like you get them a little bit off, or above or below their window, and they do lose quite a bit of performance. It could just be a case of some corners and just getting out of the window, but we're still just trying to understand why. Looking at the difference across cars, there wasn't anything obvious with set-up or anything like that so I'm looking if I was approaching corners differently or doing something to work the tyres harder.
I think I've understood a little bit, don't get me wrong, but there's no one big set-up issue that went in the wrong direction, it's a combination of a few little things.
“Max's rears had a bit of a better time for sure, so we're comparing the data, seeing little bits and pieces, even just tyre temperatures across the lap [to] see if there was something I was doing which wasn't helping. There's an encyclopaedia of things to look through, [and] I was in the factory Monday and Tuesday so I've had a bit of time to go through it. Today, there's a bit more of a chance to clear up some stuff, so it's not something that's a concern. I'd say. Every year, there are a few races where you're just slow or it doesn't work as well as your team-mate and you wonder why, but I think, as long as we get the basics right, I'll figure it out.”
Ricciardo also admitted to being caught off guard a couple of times as opponents made their move to pass the Red Bull, and reckoned that he could have been a little more savvy in his defence.
“Max passed me into Turn 8, pretty much where I got passed by everyone that race,” he reflected, “We were a little bit down on that straight, more so compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, and Rosberg got me quite easily, Seb as well. But I would say it's not really a place you expect to get overtaken and I got caught off guard as well because I came out of the corner [and], next thing I know, they're attacking me on the inside!
“So I can't put it all on what was happening [with the car] - I've got to take some accountability from what was happening, I should have been prepared for all scenarios and should have covered...”