Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Daniel Ricciardo Makes Admission about 2023 F1 Cars in Wet Conditions

As the 2023 Belgium Grand Prix approaches with the looming possibility of a wet race weekend at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after a very wet first practice session earlier today. Despite the dangers Daniel Ricciardo remains unconcerned about the potential dangers and concentrated on the task at hand.

The Australian driver recently made his return to Scuderia AlphaTauri at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he secured a respectable thirteenth place finish. Despite a Lap One collision that was beyond his control, his performance was commendable, and he was on the verge of achieving valuable points for his team, and also managed to finish ahead of his teammate.

As Ricciardo gears up for his second race weekend, one would think he might have hoped for an event-free weekend on the track. Unfortunately, the weather forecast indicates that rain is expected to grace the circuit from Thursday all the way through to Sunday. Such conditions promise to create a potentially tricky situation for all drivers, requiring heightened skill and focus behind the wheel, but above all full concentration.

Nevertheless, Ricciardo displays a calm and composed mindset, seemingly unfazed by the prospect of racing in the rain and the inherent risks it brings. The treacherous nature of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is renowned, but his confidence remains unshaken, and he remains concentrated on the task at hand.

“As a race car driver, we’re aware of this from a young age,” Ricciardo told the media at the track ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I think it’s a lot safer over the years, but there are still some dangers so it’s something that we’re aware of, but we’ve just kind of learned to live with it because as a driver you can’t really think about it.”

Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

2022 saw new regulations introduced to Formula 1 and Ricciardo believes that the changes have made it more difficult in wet conditions. The increased downforce on the cars aids in providing superior grip on dry surfaces, but it can become a liability on wet tracks, potentially causing hydroplaning and reduced control during braking and cornering.

“These cars are tricky in the wet, getting the temperatures in tyres makes it tricky for us. Sometimes the grip is there and sometimes it’s not, it’s very on and off. This makes it very difficult to really control a slide in the wet because the lack of grip makes it a lot more snappy and a bit more unpredictable.

“I think it’s when you also have just a lot of downforce on the cars it creates that more high grip to low grip sensation in the wet. I think lower downforce cars are easier because you’re more in like a constant flight so it’s a bit slower, a bit more predictable.”

As the anticipation builds for qualifying later today and all the action over the weekend, the spotlight will undoubtedly be on Ricciardo and his approach to the challenging conditions. His experience may just be the key to his success and the difference between a disappointing race and a points finish in this potentially rain-soaked race weekend.

\