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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo plots vindication for RB chassis switch

Daniel Ricciardo is hoping an uptick in form, despite an ultimately disappointing first weekend with his new chassis, can help retroactively support his calling for the change at RB.

Ricciardo China race
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Despite a difficult Chinese Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful his new chassis will allow him to turn his campaign around amid a difficult start to the 2024 F1 season.

The RB driver acknowledges being vocal about it in the run up to last weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, but a costly error by Lance Stroll prevented the 34-year-old from being able to potentially take his first points of the year.

Whilst Ricciardo was infuriated by Stroll's response to the incident and his refusal to take responsibility for it, the Australian is counting on his new chassis to allow him to do a "180" in the coming rounds.

Having rid himself of the previous chassis, the eight-time grand prix winner confirmed it was always the plan to make the swap at the Chinese Grand Prix.

“Obviously, I've been quite vocal about it, because I've been struggling a bit this year. But also, to be clear, that it was always the plan to introduce that chassis here [in China], he told media including RacingNews365.

“I don't know if anyone else is [introducing new chassis] yet, but by race five, I was obviously just putting my hand up, [like:] ‘whenever it's ready, I'll take it’

“And, yeah, so it was the earliest convenience, and I obviously said: ‘yeah, let me try it.' Yuki [Tsunoda] is happy with his, and that’s that. So, it's one little box just to tick now and make sure that we're all okay – and peace of mind.”

'I'm encouraged so far'

In the opening rounds of the season, the condition of Ricciardo's original chassis became the topic of much discussion with the driver himself pushing for the change.

In the first four grand prix, Yuki Tsunoda took three points finishes to his team-mate's zero. That piled the pressure on Ricciardo, with him suggesting all might not be right with his chassis, despite the team finding no evidence to support his hypothesis.

“We haven’t found anything wrong with what I had, but sometimes these things might be visible, might not [be]," he conceded in China.

“Look, regardless, even if I had my old chassis, it doesn’t change my approach into the weekend... But I’m sure deep down it will help one way shape or form.”

Whilst that approach did not yield his first points finish of the year, through no fault of his own, Ricciardo remains in part hopeful that a turn around in fortunes can vindicate him and his chassis theory.

“Say the next five [races], completely do this 180 [turn], so to speak, then I would have confidence in saying: ‘alright, maybe we will never know what It was, but something didn’t maybe feel right with the previous chassis I was racing.’" he pondered.

“But yeah, I would love to be here in five races time and say that, because it means the season has definitely turned around and kind of put that thing to bed.

"We’ll see, but I’m encouraged so far."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying