Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Paul Ricard, 2018

Ricciardo rues decision to run higher downforce level

2018 French Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo suspects he may have gone the wrong way on set-up after Red Bull ran different downforce levels on their cars in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

The rain in final practice prompted Ricciardo to stick with his higher downforce set-up which did not pay off in qualifying.

“We split the cars yesterday on downforce levels,” Ricciardo explained. “Max [Verstappen] went low, I was higher.”

“Obviously we were pretty evenly matched yesterday but it looked like the low was worth trying for sure so we put that on for this morning to try it out in FP3. [But I] didn’t get to try it because of the weather.”

Ricciardo and his engineer decided to stick with the higher downforce set-up they were familiar with, but that became a problem in qualifying due to the limited scope to make adjustments.

“We still had a lot of front wing in hand because with more downforce you’re probably going to understeer and you’re going to need more front wing. But at the end of Q1 we’d already used every bit of front wing we had and we still had understeer.

“It was a little bit slow on the straights but also we couldn’t balance it. With what you could do in qualifying that was it. A frustrating session because obviously if you’ve got understeer you know you can do other things with the car but in quali your hands are tied.”

His set-up may still pay off if the rain returns tomorrow, said Ricciardo.

“On paper we’re going to be pretty slow on the straight compared to the guys in front. But if it rains than we might be the lucky dogs.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 4 comments on “Ricciardo rues decision to run higher downforce level”

    1. Good job DR. That’s 5:1 to MV in quali this season (nobody sane would count Max’s no show in quali as Ric’s score). Must be the down force level… Riiiighhht.

      1. Did you see the difference in rear wings though?

    2. I would love to seeMax in the rain with low downforce. As long as he keeps it on the (paved) island, it would be great fun to watch.

      1. johntodiffer
        24th June 2018, 10:09

        Pretty good grip just off the beach on this track.

    Comments are closed.