Daniel Ricciardo revealed that Red Bull Racing are not as quick down the straights at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, but says that it’s not down to the engine.
The Red Bull Driver was third fastest in Free Practice One behind title contenders Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. The Australian completed majority of his practice running with potential rain to arrive at the end of the session. Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen didn’t compete in the second practice session due the torrential wet conditions and was among majority of the grid who didn’t set a fast lap.
Ricciardo says the morning session was good and the balance with his Red Bull RB13 was positive.
“This morning in the dry we went out early because we thought the rain was going to come at the end of the session and we did quite a lot of running.” said Ricciardo.
“Ferrari were quite strong and Mercedes always turn it up on a Saturday so we still have some pace to find, but the balance was pretty good and overall it was a good morning.”
The Australian admits that he is losing time down the straights, believing it’s down to the amount of downforce placed on the car, in favour for the corners of the Suzuka International Racing Course.
“We were losing a bit on the straight which I don’t think was all engine today, it looked like we had more downforce so we need to see if this is the best set-up for us or if we can find a better compromise for the corners and the straights.”
Due to wet conditions in Free Practice two, both Red Bull cars chose not to run and save a set of wet tyres in case of future showers in the weekend, but Ricciardo believes that a change needs to be made regarding the amount of wet weather tyres drivers are allowed.
“I do think next year they should change things a bit, we get an extra set of intermediate tyres on a Friday but not extremes which is why we didn’t run in FP2.”
“There is a high chance of rain again tomorrow so we may need to save them for when it counts in Qualifying. “