Ricciardo caught out by "strange" seat belt issue

Daniel Ricciardo says he and Renault were caught out by a 'strange' seat belt issue on the opening day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo caught out by "strange" seat belt issue

The Australian lost time in the afternoon session when Renault struggled to get him comfortable with his belts.

"We were a bit delayed getting out for both runs – just a few little things with the belts," said the Australian, who ended up eighth overall in second free practice.

"It was actually strange, because they were really loose. Then they made a small adjustment and they couldn't even tighten them. It is like the adjustments were out. We will figure that out.

"We could have got a few more laps in both runs but in the end we did what we had to. I wouldn't say it was down to a lack of track time, it was just figuring out what to do.

"It is a bumpy circuit so working out what to sacrifice ride for, to take the kerbs and the bumps well or to be aggressive to get the most downforce out of the car."

Ricciardo said he was happy with the short run pace of his Renault, but said that his longer runs were not so encouraging.

However, with teammate Nico Hulkenberg having looked stronger on that front, he was far from concerned.

"It's hard to read," added Ricciardo. "The short run at the end was okay. The long runs not so good.

"There was still quite a lot to learn with the car and still probably some ways to set it up – a few tricks here or there. Nico obviously has a bit more knowledge with that so I just need to try to understand a bit of that direction as well.

"For now probably I will learn a few things from him and, as time goes on, hopefully he will learn a few things from me.

"But I think the car doesn't look too bad for now. His long run looked better than mine and quite impressive, so that is positive."

Asked about his expectations for Saturday, Ricciardo said: "If both cars can be in the top seven or top eight that would be a good start to the season.

"But you look at the field and it is a bit strange. You see the Mercedes and the Red Bull in the front, and Ferrari I expect to get up there tomorrow. I don't know if they had any issues this afternoon or were running high fuel or they are just not fast. But it is crazy around here.

"You see Kimi [Raikkonen] was up there in fifth or something, so it is going to be quite close tomorrow getting that lap, getting a clean lap. It could change three or four positions just one or two tenths."

shares
comments
Vettel: Mercedes "much stronger than they claimed"

Previous article

Vettel: Mercedes "much stronger than they claimed"

Next article

Why relaxed Raikkonen will star in 2019

Why relaxed Raikkonen will star in 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021