Ricciardo can’t explain time loss 'everywhere' in Spa qualifying

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo admits he was confused during Belgian Grand Prix qualifying as he continued to lose time "pretty much everywhere" around the Spa circuit

Ricciardo can’t explain time loss 'everywhere' in Spa qualifying

A timing gamble during a wet-but-drying final part of qualifying did not pay off for Red Bull, which will occupy the fourth row of the grid.

Red Bull's usual struggles at the power-sensitive Spa circuit mean it has been off the pace behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the dry, with Ricciardo struggling more than team-mate Max Verstappen and even needing to run again Q1 after a mediocre first lap.

"We've been slow all weekend and, at times, nearly a second off, and not really sure why," said Ricciardo, who will start one place behind Verstappen in eighth.

"That was weird and the laps I did were fine, I wasn't going off track or driving like an idiot.

"We just couldn't understand why. Even crossing the line, I'd see the laptime and I'm expecting to see something significantly better and I'm not, so I was a bit confused.

"We put the second set on and we went quicker but still we were even on [the] second set, we were maybe still four-tenths off Max, and the track got better.

"So something's been a bit off, but we haven't really figured out why yet."

Ricciardo said the time loss "seems pretty much everywhere, a bit" but more in the middle sector, which is partly because Red Bull is running an extremely skinny rear wing to try to offset its straightline speed deficit through the faster parts of the track.

Both drivers are running that aerodynamic set-up, with Ricciardo put off a higher-downforce option after trying it in final practice.

"The second sector felt better but the first and third was too slow," he explained. "And just thinking about the race and restart, I would get ambushed.

"I don't feel we have a choice but to run the small one we got."

Red Bull's aerodynamic prowess means it should star through the twists and turns of Spa's middle sector, but its usual advantage in these corners is countered by the need to run such low downforce for the straights.

Teams have to strike that compromise every year at Spa, but when asked by Autosport to explain how much it hurts Red Bull, Verstappen admitted it was "really difficult" to set up the car.

"I think we found quite a decent way of driving it in qualifying," he said, "but you are compensating for a straightline loss.

"Even in qualifying you are still down on the straight in terms of top speed, with that wing.

"But I think it's the best we could do."

shares
comments
Why Alonso 'rejected' Red Bull to replace Ricciardo for F1 2019

Previous article

Why Alonso 'rejected' Red Bull to replace Ricciardo for F1 2019

Next article

Haas not appeased about Force India treatment despite F1 talks

Haas not appeased about Force India treatment despite F1 talks
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Author Scott Mitchell
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021