Fresh chassis ’psychological’ for Ricciardo - Marko

"Things went much better for him in China"


25 April 2024 - 16:01
Fresh chassis 'psychological'

Daniel Ricciardo’s boost from his fresh monocoque in China may have been merely "psychological".

That’s the suspicion of Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s top Austrian F1 consultant, amid ongoing speculation that the Australian driver is not doing enough at the junior outfit RB this year to secure a 2025 seat.

After struggling alongside Yuki Tsunoda early this season, Ricciardo campaigned to be allocated a fresh monocoque for China. The team obliged, but sporting boss Alan Permane admitted he was sceptical.

However, the 34-year-old driver did seem to take a clear step forward in Shanghai - although Marko pointed out that "Tsunoda’s laptimes were on par with Ricciardo in the race".

As for that new chassis, Marko added: "The whole thing was planned from the start, as this is our third chassis that we already wanted to put on the track.

"But of course this change also played a psychological role after Daniel’s disappointing performances on the previous weekends," said the 80-year-old. "Things went much better for Ricciardo in China."

Even Ricciardo doesn’t deny that the new chassis may only be giving him "peace of mind".

"So, ok, it’s one little box to tick," he said. "We didn’t find anything wrong with what I had, but sometimes these things might be visible, might not be visible.

"We’ll see, but I’m encouraged so far."

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