Wary Daniel Ricciardo doesn't want to "play up" impact of new RB F1 chassis

Daniel Ricciardo is wary about 'playing up' the impact of having a new chassis in China.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Qualifying
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4,…

Daniel Ricciardo says he doesn’t want to “play up” the impact of getting a new chassis from his RB team at the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

After a disappointing start to the season in which he has been outperformed by teammate Yuki Tsunoda, Ricciardo has been left suspecting that something might not be right with his car.

Ricciardo will get a new chassis for this weekend’s race in Shanghai as part of an effort to reassure the Australian as he looks to turnaround his early form struggles.

“It’s one you don’t want to play up too high, because it could maybe make no difference. But it is something where it’s like peace of mind,” the eight-time grand prix winner told Sky Sports F1 on Thursday.

“The plan was always to introduce the third chassis in Shanghai. Yuki has been happy with his. I understand why. I was like ‘I’ll take it if he’s not taking it’, so I jumped at the opportunity.”

Ricciardo, who is returning to the scene of one of his most memorable victories, is hopeful of replicating a turnaround in fortunes similar to how he overcame a slow start to life at Renault on F1’s last visit to China in 2019.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China, Preparation Day.-
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese…

“I remember I had a slow start to Renault, the first two races, Melbourne and Bahrain,” he explained.

“A little bit of difficulty I remember, and then we came here and this was the weekend we kind of kickstarted everything and things got better from China onwards.

“So hopefully it’s got the same narrative in 2024.”

Ricciardo has been linked with a potential Red Bull seat for 2025 but his poor form, coupled with Sergio Perez’s strong start to the season, has lowered expectations of that becoming a reality.

Asked if he hopes Red Bull will take time when making a decision about their line-up for next year to give him the best chance of staking a claim, the 34-year-old replied: “On one hand yes, because I haven’t shown the best me yet this year and the plan is to do that sooner than later of course.

“But also because I’m so focused on getting my season better here, I haven’t put too much energy or thought into the driver market.

“I know that if my results start getting better then things may happen but I guess I’ve been too focused on getting my things right before worrying about what could happen elsewhere."

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