Ricciardo’s frustration, a driver’s timing

If you were a rising star at Toro Rosso and had enough talent to move on to the big team at Red Bull, then you’d imagine things were heading in the right direction. When you win a race in an otherwise challenging car in your first year with the big boys, you’d have to think that choosing Daniel Ricciardo was the right move.

A year on from the debut, however, and things are actually going backwards and the thought of Ricciardo winning a race in 2015 seems to be a long-forgotten dream. Struggling with a difficult power unit and chassis that doesn’t seem as effective as last year’s version, Ricciardo’s frustration is bubbling to the surface.

The Australian said the team has no idea what it needs or how to get it regardless of the underperforming engine. The implication is that it isn’t merely Renault Sport F1 that is holding back the team’s progress. It’s a chassis issue as well…in fact, he implied it’s everything.

To those ends, team boss Christian Horner has agreed that Ricciardo’s frustration is starting to become tangible and that the team has a chassis as well as engine issue telling AUTOSPORT:


“There was a bit of frustration in his comments,” he said.

“He wasn’t happy with his performance, he had been outqualified by his team-mate, and his expectations – particularly after last year – were high.

“We are making progress with the chassis. We have brought development and improvements to the chassis, really since Malaysia at each grand prix, and we have a lot more in the pipeline throughout the year.

“We still have a weakness in the slow-speed corners compared to the characteristics of last year’s car, and the nose regulation changes are what affected us in that area.

“But the guys are getting a good grip on that now, a good handle, and over the next few races we should see further steps.

“The good thing with the chassis is you can update the car and bring more performance to it, whereas with the engine, obviously there is a longer lead time.”


It’s a tough situation for drivers such as Ricciardo or teammate Daniil Kvyat—having their big moment to move to a 4-time championship team only to be taking the helm as it begins its slide down the other side of the mountain.

There is the other side of that calculation too. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who struggled for years at Ferrari to build a competitive package only to lose hope and move to a team who had lured Honda back as an engine supplier. A few months on and Ferrari is now winning while McLaren is in desperate form.

It’s a timing issue for sure and when you consider drivers like Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who many consider a seriously underrated driver; his chance at a top team just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. The fine line is critical and if you were to look at a driver such as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, they made the right choice at the right time.


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this keen insight is actually worth publishing ?

Negative Camber

Why no, it isn’t but Horner’s comments about Ricciardo’s frustration and comments to the media are interesting and admitting that the chassis has issues instead of simply blaming Renault is also somewhat interesting to me. The rest of it is garbage because I wrote it. I would highly recommend reading other F1 blogs instead. :)

Boyd McCollum

Todd, very good stuff. It’s funny, consider Vettel last year, the amount of frustration he must have felt and he never let it bubble to the surface, even though it was a much larger step down last year for him than it is for Ric this year. The one thing both Vettel and Webber brought to the table was a high degree of commitment to developing the car. Ricciardo seems to take the line that it’s the team’s responsibility to give him the car. You can see how Vettel is integrating into Ferrari this year. More than one insider has… Read more »

Dr T

No one knows how much DR is contributing to development – it’s not talked about. But how do you develop a car when you aren’t running it much in practice because you’re trying to avoid taking engine penalties?

I don’t think anyone can really be upset with Danny Ric voicing some frustration – he’s done it so rarely in the past. And it’s not as if Jenson and Alonso have been without frustration – their comments to their engineers during the Canadian GP were fairly pointed (again – I don’t blame them for being frustrated).


I agree entirely with your self analysis of your own work.

Daniel Johnson

I heard beeping as Horner just backed the bus over Ricciardo.

Warham Pendrich

Horner had to slap Riccardo’s hand for speaking out of turn.