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RB drivers confirm next steps after disastrous Barcelona upgrade

Team's hopes came crashing down after a poor performance in Spain

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RB drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda have confirmed their surprise at the team’s dramatic drop in performance. 

RB drivers confirm next steps after disastrous Barcelona upgrade Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
RB drivers confirm next steps after disastrous Barcelona upgrade Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The VCARB 01 debuted substantial upgrades in Spain. The package of a new rear wing design, overhauled underbody, and new sidepods failed to move RB closer to the top four teams.

Instead, RB slipped back into the lower competitive order during the Spanish Grand Prix.  A double Q1 elimination provided an omen for what was to come. Tsunoda qualified in P17, with Ricciardo just behind in P18.

The race became a question of damage limitation. Tsunoda failed to make any meaningful progress, finishing in P19. Ricciardo fared little better.  The Australian only managed to climb to P15, off the leading pace all weekend.

Emergency action needed?

As reported by Ricciardo spoke after the race of the need to stay calm and not reverse the upgrade package immediately: “I think that temptation probably only exists in maybe in 72 hours. If we’re still unsure or there’s no clear answer then maybe we say: ‘Okay. do we just for the time being go back?’

“But right now I’m not there yet to resort to that. Once we put everything on the table, if we’re still like that, then that probably becomes a question.”

Ricciardo also revealed that nothing felt wrong with his car despite the lack of pace, as the search for answers begins:

“It was a really, really strange weekend for us to have dropped off so much.  “I didn’t have a bad feeling in qualifying. In the debrief Yuki and myself both felt we did good laps, we felt like the balance wasn’t bad.

“I think simply lacked the load and we probably don’t really get everything out of the new package. “Honestly I felt good in the race. I was happy with what I got out of it, but 15th is not something that we can be happy about.

The Australian confirmed he planned to study data from the race carefully:  “I’ve got plenty of notes and feedback from the race. The next 48-72 hours [we have] lots of things to look at.”

Issues all weekend

In sharp comparison to his teammate, Tsunoda reported a “clear issue”, admitting struggling for the entire race:  “There was a clear issue in the beginning and for sure that was compromised a little bit, for especially second stint,” said the Japanese driver.,

“We were able to solve it at least in steering, but I’m not sure it was fixed completely because I was feeling so weird inside the car. “The pace was nowhere, I struggled with the balance, everything. For sure there was something wrong going on there.

“In qualifying the balance was okay, but just too much sliding and I didn’t feel much downforce.”

After scoring no points in Spain, RB heads into the Austrian Grand Prix weekend in sixth place in the constructors’ championship, 20 points ahead of Alpine.


Feature Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images

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