Daniel Ricciardo says his F1 Qatar GP was compromised pretty much due to massive fuel saving from start as Andreas Seidl adds more on it.
Already McLaren’s Ricciardo had a tough Saturday in F1 Qatar GP after he qualified outside the Top 10. He did not have a good start too as he steadied around the Top 10 due to having to take an evasive action at Turn 1 for cars around him.
Actually, he was in the middle of the pack and couldn’t see Turn 1 clearly which cost him places at start. But before he could get his head around in the race, he was told to save fuel due to seemingly a mis-calculation on their side.
He was losing lot of time due to that and by the time he was told to push as much as possible, there was not many laps left to get back into the Top 10. Ricciardo thought to retire at one point but carried on as per the team’s instructions.
“I am glad it’s over because we had a very-very painful race actually,” said Ricciardo to TV media. “I don’t know obviously how much gets broadcast, I guess a lot of people had punches. So, I mean as always I want to look at it again, but from memory I had I was in the middle of Stroll and Charles and basically when I got closer to Turn 1, I couldn’t see any more, like I couldn’t pick obviously the braking markers, if you can’t see the apex you look for braking markers and I couldn’t see them.
“So, I had honestly no idea where Turn 1 was. I lifted and it was just way too early, but I was kind of just in the middle and kind of in no man’s land but as always I’ll look and see if I could have positioned the car elsewhere. But I was just, basically I couldn’t see where Turn 1 was, so lifted as I didn’t want to do something silly into one and go up someone’s gearbox. That cost a bit and then after a few laps we got back into let’s say position but then very early I had a fuel warning on the dash.
“Actually on Lap 1 already, so I ignored it because it’s strange to get that already and then I was told quite early save fuel and I was saving so much to a point where tyres got cold, brakes got cold and we were just at times two seconds a lap slower. Basically it was like we were not going to get it to the end and I was doing so much saving that we, I mean, you probably could have driven as fast as me, so it’s kind of pointless doing what we were doing because we were just taking ourselves further out of the race.
“But let’s say we were doing it to follow instructions and then it got to a point where I was told don’t save anymore, so it went like from that to that and then we pushed and by then obviously the race was gone but more importantly there’s something that went wrong today, a miscalculation or an error in the reading that forced us to do what we did. So that’s something that we have to look into because it dictated all the race. The easiest way to say is that we were a passenger for 75 percent of the race,” summed up Ricciardo.
It was disaster for McLaren as a late puncture for Lando Norris cost him crucial points to be ninth, while Ricciardo ended up out of points for the third successive race. On the team side, Seidl acknowledged the fuel trouble but didn’t wish to elaborate as much before any analysis done. It looks like an error on their side.
“On Daniel side, since the start of the race unfortunately he had to do quite a lot of fuel saving unexpectedly which in the end compromised his race quite a lot,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “And that didn’t give any chance to get back into points, we need to analyse now why this happened.
During each race weekends, you have to do a certain amount of fuel management which we had on Lando’s side as well, same like other cars. On Daniel’s side, it was a lot more severe, more than we expected, so that’s why we are having it to understand and do analysis for what happened there.”
When asked if they played a bit around the 100km limit, Seidl did agree or disagree but noted that they need to analyse. “It is something that we have to work out now, why it happened like that, obviously on that topic, there’s a lot of variables involved and I might tell you more on Friday in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Here’s Lando Norris on his tyre troubles