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Daniel Ricciardo

RB to carry out further Ricciardo 'sanity check' later in the season

The recent new RB chassis was the first box ticked for Daniel Ricciardo. More to follow it seems. Will it be enough?

Ricciardo Mekies
Interview
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

RB team principal Laurent Mekies has confirmed further changes to this year's car will be carried out "later in the season" to improve Daniel Ricciardo's comfort.

Since the beginning of the year, Ricciardo has struggled with the handling of the VCARB 01, leading to the Australian going from being a candidate to return to Red Bull in 2025 to speculation he only had a few races to save his seat with RB.

Mekies, however, has made it clear there are no plans to replace Ricciardo, and instead, the team is doing all it can to ensure the issues felt by the 37-year-old are swiftly eradicated.

The first step on that journey was undertaken in China where Ricciardo was handed a new chassis, delivering a stronger weekend performance which may have resulted in a points finish but for being hit from behind by Aston Martin's Lance Stroll during a safety car period.

"It's positive that Daniel could produce that strong drive," said Mekies, speaking to RacingNews365.

"We have been saying for quite a few races that he was more and more comfortable with the car, and it proved to be the case [in China]. I'm sure it's not the last step forward that we will make with him."

RB ticking boxes with Ricciardo

Ricciardo was initially wary when asked whether the new chassis had made a difference, believing it would likely require a five-race assessment before he could offer a more concrete viewpoint. When pushed, however, he confirmed there was a more positive feeling.

Mekies has now stated the new chassis will be followed by other 'box-ticking' components designed to help Ricciardo again find his comfort zone.

"It is clear that Daniel was uncomfortable with some of the characteristics of the car since the very beginning," said Mekies. "Some of it we are trying to address in the short term, some of it we are going to address a bit later in the season.

"On top of that, there were a number of boxes we wanted to tick, to sanity check everything possible.

"The chassis introduction was planned anyway, because when a chassis comes out of production you just put it into the race team. Putting it with Daniel was just ticking one of these boxes.

"We'll look at the data with him to see what role he played in it, and as he said, it will need to be assessed over a number of races to understand the influence.

"What is important is that we are nailing a bit more, weekend after weekend, what we need to give him to make him able to push at 100 per cent."

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