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Ricciardo, RB “missing something” after upgrades fall flat

Matt Clayton
Monday, 24 June 2024

Daniel Ricciardo finished 15th in the Spanish Grand Prix on a shocking weekend for RB, with a new upgrade package for a tricky circuit proving difficult to get on top of as the team had its least-competitive performance of the season.

The results didn’t show it, but Daniel Ricciardo felt he’d done “a good race” after a dreadful Spanish Grand Prix for RB in Barcelona, with a much-vaunted upgrade package seeing the team freefall backwards and leaving Ricciardo as its best-placed driver … in 15th place at the chequered flag.

The result – allied to Yuki Tsunoda’s equally-anonymous 19th – was a huge letdown for RB after Ricciardo scored his first Grand Prix points of the season in the previous race in Canada with eighth, which came after he’d qualified a season-best fifth.


It was a markedly different story for RB in Spain, with Tsunoda (17th) outqualifying Ricciardo (18th), and Ricciardo finishing one lap and 44secs adrift of race-winner Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).

Ricciardo felt his race, as RB struggled to make its upgrades work on the high-speed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, was as good as it could have been.

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“It’s a weird one because am I happy with 15th? Absolutely not,” Ricciardo said.

“But am I happy with my race and how we managed it? Yes, I actually feel like we did a good race. Even yesterday in qualifying … I know I missed out by just under a tenth [of a second] to Yuki in the teammate battle, but I honestly felt like we did a good job and we didn’t have anything more to show this weekend.

“Yesterday, missed just a touch but today I felt like I maximised it. But obviously with the new package, we’re missing something.

“There’s a few corners where I feel [the upgrade isn’t] giving us the little bit extra that we’re looking for, but if I go back to qualy, the car felt balanced … but now, we’re lacking overall load. This is a high-speed circuit with a lot of fast corners, and I guess that’s where we’re currently a little bit weak.”

Ricciardo’s two-stop race featured a change from soft to medium tyres on lap 16, and then a final stop for hard tyres on lap 42 for the final 24 laps. His fastest lap (1min 19.450secs) came with six laps left and was 0.003secs slower than Tsunoda’s best lap, the Japanese driver employing a three-stop strategy as RB had little to lose, but finishing four places behind Ricciardo and second-last.

With the Austrian Grand Prix coming up next weekend as the middle rung in a triple-header with the British GP a week later, Ricciardo admitted the pace drop-off for a team that had scored in the previous four races was cause for concern.

“We’ll take a few little positives from the week, but obviously a few more things to work on and a quick turnaround, so we’ll get into the debrief,” he said.

“I took plenty of notes during the race and have plenty of feedback to give back to the team, so we’ll try to put it to good use and come back in Austria.”

Daniel Ricciardo at the Spanish Grand Prix

Daniel's Spanish Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 18th
  • Race: 15th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 19.450secs (17th), lap 61
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 9 (12th in world championship)