Ricciardo expects stronger second half of season

2014 F1 season

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2014Daniel Ricciardo expects to be in stronger shape during the second half of the year.

Ricciardo, who took his second career win in Hungary last week, says he usually finds he is more competitive in the latter stages of a season.

Speaking to CNN’s The Circuit in an interview to be broadcast tomorrow, Ricciardo said his goal for the remaining races is to “keep building on what I have not only achieved but learnt in the first six months”.

“I feel since I entered Formula One the second part of the season has always gone better for me,” he explained. “It has been the time of the year when I seem to learn from the first six months and really put it towards better results in the second half of the year. So just keep doing that.”

“There is some fun tracks coming up as well – Spa, Japan is a good one and there are a few others. Austin is great so we will see how it’s going and try and get a few more wins.”

Ricciardo admitted the high-speed nature of Spa-Francorchamps, the next venue on the calendar, is likely to present some problems for the Red Bull chassis.

“Spa is pretty even across the lap,” he said. “There are some very long straights, which will unfortunately give a little bit of lap time away. But then there are some fast and flowing parts – particularly in the second sector should be a stand out sector for us as a team.”

“Whether that is enough then to catch back what we have lost on the straight we don’t know. We will see – maybe some rain will help things out.”

Despite his two wins Ricciardo says the team “always feel like we have been on the back foot a little bit this year” following their disrupted pre-season programme due to problems with their Renault power unit.

“Red Bull is a massive team and we can develop a lot quicker than other teams so we had sort of called up but it has been difficult,” he added. “I think more difficult than they have experienced in previous years”.

“But it is obviously a challenge that we are all aware of now and it is something we have to overcome. So I think the best thing is to try and move on and to move on with what we have got and that is the situation so… sometimes you feel like you want to point fingers and you have got to get some stuff off your chest which is fair enough but behind all that there is a lot of proactive work going.”

The full interview with Ricciardo will air tomorrow at 9:30am BST on CNN International.

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49 comments on Ricciardo expects stronger second half of season

  1. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 8th August 2014, 17:13

    Ricciardo isn’t the only driver who does better in the second half of the year. Over the last four championships, his teammate’s winning percentage after the summer break is almost double what it is before the break (60% against 31%). Vettel has always ended every season in much better form than what he started as he has got used to the car. In contrast, Webber didn’t perform that much better after the break, so it can’t be entirely attributed to Red Bull developing that much quicker than any other team, even excluding 2013 where they did.
    That’s why since the beginning of the season I have been looking forward to who is on top between the Red Bull drivers at the end of the season, rather than the beginning.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th August 2014, 17:25

      @toro-stevo
      Vettel is currently down 88-131 on Ricciardo. Was he ever this much behind Webber at any point when they were teammates?
      I also wouldn’t count on Ricciardo self-imploding in the 2nd half of the season like Webber was accustomed to doing (most evident in 2012).

      • Baron said on 8th August 2014, 18:25

        @kingshark

        No, Vettel has never been behind on Webber like that.
        He has also never had as much misfortune as he has had this season.
        He has easily lost 40 points through no fault of his own. Probably more.

        He’s already had more problems so far this season as the entire 2010 season. And with several guaranteed grid place penalties coming due to him having to use more than 5 PU components I doubt he can finish ahead in points of Ricciardo this year.

        Besides that Ricciardo has been impressive so far this season. Especially his overtakes in Hungary. Where Rosberg could have easily won the race but acted like a lamb, Ricciardo was the Lion.
        But other than that Ricciardo hasn’t done anything that Vettel can’t do.

        And then there’s the wet sessions we’ve had this season. In every single one of them (besides Australia, where Vettel had his MGU-K problem of course) Vettel was quite a deal quicker than Ricciardo. Over a second quicker even at Malaysia in full wet conditions and Hungary in damp conditions.
        Perhaps that’s just coincidence but I thought that was very interesting to point out.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 9th August 2014, 20:05

          He has also never had as much misfortune as he has had this season.
          He has easily lost 40 points through no fault of his own. Probably more.

          You haven’t taken into account how many points Ricciardo lost, have you? He lost about 30 points in Australia and Malaysia alone, plus 3 points in Bahrain and 4 points in Germany.

          But other than that Ricciardo hasn’t done anything that Vettel can’t do.

          Win from lower than 3rd on the grid? Save his tyres in the manner that he did in China and Silverstone? Beat Mercedes head-on in Hungary?

          And then there’s the wet sessions we’ve had this season. In every single one of them (besides Australia, where Vettel had his MGU-K problem of course) Vettel was quite a deal quicker than Ricciardo. Over a second quicker even at Malaysia in full wet conditions and Hungary in damp conditions.

          Whatever happened to China qualifying, huh? By half a second for that matter of fact.

          • Eric (@) said on 10th August 2014, 11:22

            You haven’t taken into account how many points Ricciardo lost, have you? He lost about 30 points in Australia and Malaysia alone

            No he didn’t. If Red Bull had stuck with the fuel flow limit he would have never been second to begin with in Australia and in Malaysia he was never going to beat Vettel and Alonso anyway. At best he lost 20 points those races.

            plus 3 points in Bahrain

            Yes, let’s just assume Ricciardo would have been 3rd if he hadn’t gotten a grid penalty. Then We’ll ‘assume’ Vettel would have won Spain if he hadn’t had the gearbox failure in Q3 that saw him drop down to 15th on the grid.
            That’s 13 points Vettel lost right there.

            Win from lower than 3rd on the grid?

            Thanks to problems with other cars and the safety car. And Vettel never won from lower on the grid because unlike Hamilton he doesn’t constantly screw up qualifying. When his car was capable of winning races without SC assistance he would put it on pole or close to pole.

            Save his tyres in the manner that he did in China and Silverstone?

            Something Vettel has never ever ever been able to do…. Like he did at Spa 2012… While fighting with other cars… Whereas Ricciardo didn’t do any fighting in either of the races you mentioned.

            Beat Mercedes head-on in Hungary

            Hahahaha, yeah. Head on. That’s rich. With tyres about 20 laps younger. That’s head on.

            Whatever happened to China qualifying, huh? By half a second for that matter of fact.

            Oh wow, one session. And that’s just Q3. In Q1 and Q2 he was far behind Vettel.

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th August 2014, 19:26

        2008: Vettel 6 – 2 Bourdais after Hungary (+4), Vettel 35 – 4 Bourdais at end (+31)
        2009: Vettel 47 – 45.5 Webber after Hungary (+1.5), Vettel 84 – 69.5 Webber at end (+14.5)
        2010: Vettel 151 – 161 Webber after Hungary (-10), Vettel 256 – 242 Webber at end (+14)
        2011: Vettel 234 – 149 Webber after Hungary (+85), Vettel 392 – 258 Webber at end (+134)
        2012: Vettel 122 – 124 Webber after Hungary (-2), Vettel 281 – 179 Webber at end (+102)
        2013: Vettel 172 – 105 Webber after Hungary (+67), Vettel 397 – 199 Webber at end (+198)

        While Vettel was never that far behind Webber compared to how far he is currently behind Ricciardo, his form in the second half of the season is generally pretty remarkable, not just compared to his team mate, but compared to the rest of the field, notably in the last two years. While I wouldn’t expect Ricciardo to simply forget to learn how to drive, I do expect Vettel to come back stronger after the summer break. @kingshark @toro-stevo

        • So Vettel increased his margin over Webber in every season of their partnership in the second half of the season – that’s a good omen.

          • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 9th August 2014, 2:50

            A more interesting stat I’ve seen so far, is bar Germany in which Ricciardo got taken out by the Massa/Hulkenberg incident, Ricciardo has consistently increased his points gap on a race by race basis over Vettel. It hasn’t been going up and down, it is going in a clear direction at the rate of 3.8 points per race in Ricciardo’s favor.

            I notice a lot of people refering to Vettel’s impressive second half’s relative to Webber to justify him beating Ricciardo in that and it may be the case. But its hard to predict future outcomes based on his performance against a different team mate and all we really know so far is how he goes against Ricciardo.

        • Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 8th August 2014, 21:01

          “…but compared to the rest of the field…”

          That´s only the HUGE Red Bull development rate hammering down the rest of the field, mate.

          Bearing in mind that Red Bull focused almost all its resources soleley on Vettel´s hability to exploit at best the blown difusor, then you can see why Seb was always strong on the secord part of the season.

          The point now is that, differently from Webber, Ricciardo adapted well to this car.

          So, will Red Bull focus its resources on the better driver this season (Ricciardo), developing a car that looks strong on his hands, or will they still lose time, deviating from a good design base, trying to find a way to Vettel adapt to 2014 car?

          • fractal (@fractal) said on 9th August 2014, 0:01

            i reckon from what many presumed here, RIC is a better driver this year just because he made best use (well adapted) of this year’s car and VET is not good enough because he cannot perform that good in the same car. Well, we dont have a reference between VET and RIC in the old car where VET used to be winning. If the regulations suited RIC better, that will never make him a better driver “in general”, but just another VET specialized (adapted) in exhaust blowing effects. I agree RIC impressed everybody. However, the way we are comparing both is not conclusive enough for me to regard RIC as better one of two yet and the analysis and statements thus are bleak.

        • Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 9th August 2014, 0:52

          @craig-o

          Thanks! Awesome evidence, keen to see how the rest of the season unfolds between these two!

        • MattyPF1 (@mattypf1) said on 9th August 2014, 2:36

          Yeah but remember @craig-o that were stats between Vettel and Webber, Ricciardo could be a completely different story. Ricciardo (aside from his DNFs) achieved some of his more consistent and point scoring results at the end of last year. And who knows what he can do because this year he won at Canada and Hungary and in 2012 & 2013, he never scored a single point in any of those GPs. I reckon he could pull off the perfect finish to what is nearly the perfect start in his F1 career at Red Bull

        • Thomas (@infi24r) said on 9th August 2014, 2:51

          His sample size there is 2 team mates. Is that Vettel being strong or Webber being weak?

      • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 9th August 2014, 5:25

        I’d be very surprised if Ricciardo implodes, if anything I expect the gap between the drivers to become uncomfortably close and cause problems for the team.
        Ricciardo’s strengths match Seb’s – good qualifying, good tyre management and putting in good laps where it matters to affect overtakes. The differences in driving style that effected the increasing gap between Vettel and Webber in the back half of seasons (tyre management) may not be as substantial here, and it’s for that reason that I’m really looking forward to seeing who (if either) can on top.

  2. I don’t doubt that, but relative to his teammate? I expect Vettel to start having the better of Ricciardo on a relatively consistent basis.

    • juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 9th August 2014, 0:20

      Keep hoping, Max. Never give up.

    • (@vettel1)

      Oh Max, forever the optimist.

      It was never that ‘Vettel has a good second half to the season,’ it’s ‘Red Bull always have better halves to the season.’

      Newey cars are always strongest on aero-dependant tracks, something the Tilke dominated second half always is. Ricciardo has crucified Vettel this year, showing him up for as average as many of us know him to be, particularly in traffic. How many more races will it take this happening to convince you? Will you ever be swayed, or will there always be some excuse?

      • Of course Red Bull have improved in the latter stages of the seasons previous, but I shall direct you to @craig-o ‘s comment above which highlights the relative performance differential between Webber and Vettel. Also, it is logical to assume that since Vettel has tended to perform better in high downforce sectors this season that he will perform better at high downforce tracks, as Singapore, Japan, potentially Russia and Brazil certainly are.

        “Crucified” is also rich word choice, particularly considering Vettel’s reliability troubles since Spain (where he showed first signs of improvement) and strategic errors by Red Bull in Canada and Britain. When all is considered, the gap is not as big as you allude.

        • (@vettel1)

          These all still sound like rather weak excuses, considering Ricciardo has almost exclusively beaten him even when he didn’t have car issues, not to mention having one both his first race wins from lower than 3rd (something Vettel has never managed, despite how much apologists try convince themselves he can overtake.) And it was also common knowledge that Webber doesn’t like the Tilke-dromes (and had an injury in 2010 as well).

          But either way, I’m genuinely interested to know how long it will take Ricciardo beating him to question your blind Vettel admiration – a season, two seasons of being beaten? Or will there always be some excuse?

          • Eric (@) said on 13th August 2014, 20:49

            People like you always make me laugh.

            The qualifying difference; 0.015 in Vettel’s favor.

            Laps ahead; almost even.

            Reliability issues; Vettel: too many to count. Ricciardo: none.

            Get the picture now?

          • steveng said on 17th August 2014, 9:34

            What about;
            Laps in leading a GP = Ricciardo ahead by many
            GP’s Won = 2 to 0 Ricciardo
            Get the picture now!

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 10th August 2014, 20:06

        Crucified? It’s roughly even in the ‘laps ahead’ department and Vettel has had the majority of the reliability issues.

      • Kartik said on 11th August 2014, 3:08

        Crucified ??
        Yes interms of reliability and no.of laps drove as RIC drove 157 laps more than Seb in the 11 races
        if the roles are reversed i guess you will be the first one come to out to say how ric got mark webber luck

  3. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 8th August 2014, 20:43

    Should be good for Redbull then.. both drivers improving over the 2nd half.

    Obviously comparisons are going to be made with Vettel. I must say Ricciardo has done a better job, but Vettel hasn’t done as bad as some people make it out to be. Since Monaco he has done a decent job. It just hasn’t went his way. In Canada he was probably as fast or faster then Ricciardo. At Austria he was 3rd before his car shut down. At Hungary his race was spoiled by the SC, while Ricciardo profited from it. I think the 2nd half of the season will be really even between the two of them. (so yes, that means Vettel will not recover from his points deficit, but at least get back to form)

  4. Worth considering is previous unreliability for each driver and hence power unit components/gearbox usage. Vettel is on the unfavourable end in both regards, which could curtail his efforts to recover the deficit to Ricciardo.

    What he really needs is a few wet races, as Vettel has demonstrated clear superiority in wet conditions thus far.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th August 2014, 23:49

      @vettel1, Max, I am feeling quite generous to Seb this year, this car, even without its reliability problems, does not seem to suit his style but he is handling his difficulties with grace and humour, having said that I think Seb is pushing himself into that mythical area over 100% as he himself said ” there are rewards for risk taking with this car” and that risk taking in the wet may be giving the appearance of being better in those conditions than DanR but they also lead to that spectacular spin in Hungary. I think we need to keep an open mind but I do expect Seb to come on strong in the 2nd. half, whether he will dominate or merely equal Dan is the question.

      • Kartik said on 9th August 2014, 4:18

        I expect Vet not to challenge Ric due to the Equipment he had, he was already on the limit on most of the parts and it will let him down with grid penalties and ric doesn’t have reliability issues like Seb so rbr will try to maximise points as much as they can
        so 2015 is the only chance for Seb to out score ric

      • Eric (@) said on 9th August 2014, 9:38

        @hohum

        You’re right, it could all be a coincidence that Vettel has been consistently faster than Ricciardo in wet conditions. But I doubt it. Qualifying is supposed to be Ricciardo’s greatest strength as well so I don’t see why he would hold back just to keep his car on track. Even at Malaysia, where the risk of binning the car is almost zero thanks to the gigantic tarmac run offs, Ricciardo was more than a second down on Vettel on either of his attempts.

        And as for Vettel’s spin in Hungary. He was under constant pressure from a faster car. He was indeed taking a lot of risks there constantly trying to get as much exit speed out of the last corner as possible. He would have needed to do so or else he would have been a sitting duck at the end of the straight with his straight line speed deficit.

        Ricciardo hasn’t had to take many risks so far this season because most of the time it pretty much just falls into his lap whereas almost anything that can go wrong does go wrong for Vettel. That’s not to say Ricciardo hasn’t done a good job, he’s seized every oppurtunity presented to him with great confidence and character but I’m curious to know what the score would have been if Vettel hadn’t suffered as many problems and poor pitstops as he’s had.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th August 2014, 22:58

          The joys of F1 ! @baron-2

        • TrueGrit said on 10th August 2014, 2:00

          “it pretty much just falls into his lap whereas almost anything that can go wrong does go wrong for Vettel” Oh dear. Better take off those rose-coloured glasses mate. Vettel has been torn a new one by a driver who, rated last year by most “experts” on this forum as not someone to threaten Vettel, and now those same experts are coming up with all sorts of myths and obscure statistics and any little glimmer of half-baked logic to try and explain why Vettel is actually still the best driver. Pathetic.

          • Eric (@) said on 10th August 2014, 11:25

            Vettel has been torn a new one

            You mean like how Webber got torn a new one over the past 5 years?

      • It’s worth noting that he didn’t spin in wet conditions @hohum – that was after the track had dried (although the astro was still wet).

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th August 2014, 23:13

          @vettel1, you’r right, but my point is that Seb is having to push beyond his comfort zone to be competitive in this years car, I’m sure he will improve but usually a driver who is good in the wet is even better in the dry.

          • Kartik said on 11th August 2014, 3:15

            I think he was better or just ahead than RIC but due to lot of things out side of his control he was looking behind
            I observed a lot of races in 1st lap where the strategy was unfolded
            Ric was ahead of Seb after the end of 1st lap is – Australia , Malaysia, Spain, Austria.
            Vet was ahead of Ric after the end of 1st lap is – Bahrain, China, Monaco, Montreal, Silverstone, Germany,Hungary
            So it was more down to strategy mess up on Vet garage which is letting him down. and ofcourse the nibbles he faced with machinery. This doesn’t mean Vet doesn’t under performed or Ric didn’t performed brilliantly though, its more than what was missing but these two guys even stevens with Ric nosing ahead by nailing every thing and Seb nailing it as much as with the mess ups he was facing.

  5. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 8th August 2014, 23:34

    I think they will really improve.

  6. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 9th August 2014, 0:13

    It wont take many Merc failures or DNF’s to put some serious pressure on the WDC ,
    Red Bull will be doing triple overtime shifts to not lose both crowns,

    Of course Merc look assured of the WCC but if those mercs catch fire or cant stop then red bull ( if at 110%) will make things very uncomfortable in Stuttgart (Brackley)

    Seb still rules the roost ,
    Dan is just rolling with the punches very very well,

    I dont need to guess that if Seb gets a roll on asap Dan will be asked to be the rear gunner

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 10th August 2014, 0:03

      It’ll take about 2 failures from both Mercs, with virtually no gain in the meantime, before there is pressure on the WDC. I think that 4 complete failures in the space of 2-4 races does count as ‘many’.

  7. Andre Furtado said on 11th August 2014, 1:15

    @everyone stop hating. Every single driver on the grid has the potential to be a world champion given a car they feel comfortable with. To say vettel was lucky and ric is better than him is nothing but hating, vettel was the king of blown diffuser. Every formula 1 era has its own heroes. Even senna couldn’t win against the Williams when they had all the electronics. To say ric is better than vettel, or vice versa is just plain silly and ignorant, many of you said Alonso is better than Hamilton, or Hamilton would wipe the floor with rosberg. Truth is rosberg seems to like the car more than Hamilton thus having less issues. I personally always found that webber mechanical issues was due to his driving style, which seems to be affecting vettel this time around. Another example is Kimi there is no good explanation to why he is underperforming. The car was designed for Alonso, and good for Alonso for making that happen. My point remains the same, they are all world champion material, just give them the car they like.

  8. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 11th August 2014, 10:05

    Strategies messed up, luck was rotten as hell but people jumping to conclusion that Ricciardo is the better driver?

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