Danny Downforce: Ricciardo Suggests Suzuka Imbalance for Red Bull

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has suggested that the team are carrying too much downforce at the moment in Suzuka, and are losing too much time on the straights to their rivals.

There is still time to tweak the setup in what could be another competitive weekend for Red Bull.

The team are hunting for their third win of the campaign after Max Verstappen’s dominant display at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Suzuka and Mexico City remain two venues that show some promise for the Red Bull team, but Ricciardo has suggested that the team aren’t where they want to be on setup at the moment.

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 06: Sparks fly behind Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 6, 2017 in Suzuka.

He said,

“This morning in the dry we went out early because we thought the rain was going to come at the end of the session and we did quite a lot of running. 

Ferrari was quite strong and Mercedes always turns it up on a Saturday so we still have some pace to find, but the balance was pretty good and overall it was a good morning.

We were losing a bit on the straight which I don’t think was all engine today. 

It looked like we had more downforce so we need to see if this is the best set-up for us or if we can find a better compromise for the corners and the straights.

There is a high chance of rain again tomorrow so we may need to save them for when it counts in qualifying.” – Daniel Ricciardo

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 06: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer stops in the Pitlane during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 6, 2017 in Suzuka.

All teams will be compromised by the weather that Suzuka has thrown up this weekend. With a wet qualifying and a dry race, teams will either opt to run a dry setup and suffer on grid position and qualifying, or will run a wet setup to start higher up the order but be jeopardised in the race.

For Red Bull, it will very much be about doing enough to at least keep Ferrari and Mercedes in the crosshairs.

Daniel Ricciardo is yet to finish on the podium in Suzuka, and like many drivers, considers this circuit as one of the best.

He will be hoping to steal a podium on Sunday, and keeping him happy in terms of setup could give him the confidence in the car to beat Bottas and Raikkonen at least, something he managed to do in FP1 earlier in the day.