Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo believes a more powerful Drag Reduction System caused his spectacular rear wing failure on the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona

The effects of DRS have been amplified following the introduction of revised aerodynamic regulations for 2019, with rear wings being made 20mm higher and 100mm wider to compensate for the loss of downforce from the simpler front wings. 

Ricciardo’s running on the second day of the opening pre-season test was hampered when the top flap of his rear wing fell off along the main straight, sending the new Renault recruit into a high-speed spin at Turn 1. 

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Asked if he knew what had caused the issue, Ricciardo joked: “Going too fast! 

“No, it is all new bits and DRS is different to last year - there is a bigger gain on that. 

“I am no aerodynamicist but I know that is creating more pressure and putting more force on the part. As soon as I braked, I lost the car.”

After the first day of running on Monday, Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg likened the larger rear wings to “pulling a parachute” along straights due to the increased levels of drag.

“I couldn’t see in the mirror,” Ricciardo added. “At the time I’m looking at the corner but I was pretty sure that I thought maybe just the flap stayed open. And then didn’t close. 

“I spun and I actually went in pretty quick so I was actually just glad we didn’t go into the barriers and lose more time. It actually turned out ok. 

“I lost the rest of the morning, but at least that is what testing is for – we will try and learn from little mistakes for now and get on [with the job].” 

Renault has made positive noises over its recent engine gains heading into the new season as it bids to close the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

While Ricciardo conceded he is yet to really push Renault’s new power unit, he said he has been found the French manufacturer’s early work “encouraging”. 

“We are still running everything pretty conservative for now,” he explained. "We are not up to what we will have in Melbourne yet from the engine side. 

“It is still learning and all the usual things, and just being safe. It all feels pretty good for now. I don’t have any concerns from that. 

“I only really did one proper long run this morning, but that run was pretty encouraging. 

“I did a couple towards the end of yesterday, and I felt better about the one this morning, just the way the car responded and the way it used the tyres. 

"Even though it was cold the tyres still get a pretty hard time around here. But the way the car responds and then came back, my reference is the Red Bull of last year, but the behaviour and the characteristics were encouraging at this stage.” 

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