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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo handed huge boost by RB - but will it help end early-season woes?

Daniel Ricciardo will receive a new chassis for the Chinese Grand Prix, which follows this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo Japan FP2
To news overview © XPBimages

RB sporting director Alan Permane has revealed that Daniel Ricciardo will receive a new chassis for the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix but has stressed it has not been done specifically for the Australian driver.

Ricciardo has endured a challenging start to the 2024 F1 season and is rumoured to be at risk of losing his seat, in stark contrast to his aim at the start of the year in wanting to return to Red Bull next season.

The Australian has failed to score a point and has been consistently slower than team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who is growing in stature and confidence.

Despite Tsunoda being RB's talisman at present, it is Ricciardo who will receive the new chassis first as he is uncomfortable with the team's current car.

“For me, the chassis is a big piece of carbon to which we attach the suspension, attach an engine and attach a gearbox,” Permane told select media including RacingNews365.

"It is very unlikely that there will be any performance issues with the chassis. However, a new chassis is coming and it makes perfect sense to give it to Daniel, not least because Yuki is happy and comfortable with the car. We simply have no preference for drivers."

'It is what it is'

Ricciardo still has to get through this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, and has already been dealt a major setback.

The former Red Bull driver was replaced by junior driver Ayumu Iwasa in first practice, before jumping into the cockpit for FP2 at Suzuka.

Unfortunately, FP1 was the only dry session of the day, meaning the eight-time race winner heads into Saturday without completing a single completely dry lap.

To make matters worse, Ricciardo missed last season's Japanese GP as a result of his crash during practice for the Dutch GP a few weeks previously, leading to him breaking a bone in his left hand.

Asked if his minimal running was frustrating, Ricciardo said: "Yeah, it was in the end. I mean FP1, it is what it is.

"We have to give up our seat for one session in the year. Obviously, Ayumu had his home track, so it made sense to give him a run. That's fine, it is what is it, but yeah FP2, when you miss FP1 you want to get some running in FP2.

"That weather was just in the middle of where it's not really wet enough for proper inter running, and then it's not really dry enough to learn much on the dry running."

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