Daniel Ricciardo says there is a lot of work to do overnight to work out the best set-up and balance of his RB14 after a troublesome day at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver, who shocked the paddock by announcing he would be signing for the Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2019, could only post one lap time during the opening free practice session in Belgium after a technical issue saw his mechanics take apart his car, although the time was good enough to put him sixth fastest.
He was sixth again in the afternoon, but the session saw the team make a number of changes to his car that did not all necessarily work in improving the balance of the car, so there is still work to be done to dial in a stronger car for the rest of the weekend.
“This morning I had some issues and the mechanics had to take the back off the car, which was time consuming, so I only completed one timed lap,” said Ricciardo. “Maybe they thought I needed an extended summer break (laughs) but I was definitely ready to drive.
“This afternoon we made lots of changes and went back and forth on set-up. We learnt quite a lot but I felt that maybe as we improved one thing we created a problem with something else.
“With the limited running we haven’t found the optimum balance yet and need to improve on both short and long runs. We will do a bit of homework tonight to find the best compromise and some more pace.”
Team-mate Max Verstappen finished ahead of Ricciardo in both sessions, with the Dutchman placing second in the first session and fourth in the afternoon.