Ricciardo ‘encouraged’ by long run pace despite wing failure
Daniel Ricciardo was left ‘encouraged’ by a long run in his Renault despite an early finish to his morning of Formula 1 testing due to a rear wing failure.
Ricciardo was thrown into a spin at Turn 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after the Renault threw off its top wing element.
The West Australian came to rest before in the gravel trap before he reached a wall but only got a sighting lap in once his crew tended to the RS19.
With team-mate Nico Hulkenberg driving in the afternoon session, Ricciardo only recorded 28 laps on the second day of pre-season, but was upbeat about his day.
“I was quite encouraged on the run before I had the, let’s call it, DRS failure,” he said.
“I did quite a long run, about 15 laps or something. I was quite encouraged by that run.
“Again with my reference it’s hard to know really too much, but from what I would expect of how the tyres behave over a long run, and this circuit, I felt like the way I was able to bring the times back towards the end of the run – we kind of drifted into the (1:)23s and got back into the 22s – and the way the tyre behaved, I thought that was quite good, quite encouraging.
“I mention the tyre, but it’s the car, the way the car’s behaving; that’s really my only impression for now.
“As far as competitors I can’t really reference that and where it puts us, but just from my personal feeling, I felt quite encouraged by that run.
“Yesterday I got a few more laps, I was kind of getting familiar, doing some set-up changes, how much front wing does this to the car. But the run this morning I felt that was a bit more representative.”
Ricciardo put the failure down to new Drag Reduction System specifications for 2019.
The rear wing is now 100mm wider and 20mm higher, with a 20mm greater opening for DRS.
“It is all new bits and DRS is different to last year; there is a bigger gain on that,” explained Ricciardo.
“I am no aerodynamicist but I know that is creating more pressure and putting more force on the part. As soon as I braked, I lost the car.
“I couldn’t see in the mirror. At the time, I’m looking at the corner but I was pretty sure that I thought maybe just the flap stayed open. And then didn’t close.
“I spun and I actually went in pretty quick so I was actually just glad we didn’t go into the barriers and lose more time. It actually turned out OK.
“I lost the rest of the morning, but at least that is what testing is for – we will try and learn from little mistakes for now and get on (with testing).”