F1 cars too wide for overtaking - Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo reckons the sheer width of modern Formula 1 cars is playing its part in the sport's lack of overtaking.

F1 cars too wide for overtaking - Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, leads Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, leads Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, in the drivers parade

Formula 1 has endured a downwards trend in overtaking since shifting back to wider, high-downforce cars, with the 2018 season opener in Melbourne only providing a handful of genuine on-track passes.

While much has been made of the aero and its effect on a following car, Ricciardo says the wider stance of the cars plays its own role in making overtaking difficult.

"I feel now with the wide tyres and wide cars, they already take up a lot of space on the track," he told Motorsport.com.

"It's hard to find clean air. It's getting to a point where I think some racetracks are going to be hurt by the racing. There's not going to be much.

"I think narrower cars were great. It's like motorbikes, because they're so narrow there's always room to get past. And they lap 30 seconds slower than us.

"I think it proves it's not necessarily about the laptime. We do need the raceability, because that's the spectacle."

According to Ricciardo, the 2014 version of the lower-downforce cars used between 2009 and 2016 was the sweet spot in terms of racing and laptime.

"Yeah, they were slow for our standards, but for a spectator they don't know necessarily that much different," he said.

"But the racing... you could follow, you could pass. As far as overtakes went, I thought 2014 was good.

"Aerodynamically, they're very strong now. You see the sidepods of the car, there's so many bits. It looks sick, but all it means is the car behind is going to get pretty messed up.

"It's at a point now where at Barcelona, we were going fast. Turn 2, 3, was full, Turn 9 was full. So it's impressive, but the faster we go, the harder it's going to be to overtake and the harder it's going to be to follow close.

"So do we want to see cars doing 1m22s as opposed to 1m25s, but not being able to race on Sunday? Or do you want to see slower cars but they can race?

"Sure, they still need to be fast but there's a balance."

Ricciardo also thinks a simplification of the engine regulations is the first place to start in terms of cost-saving in F1.

"I don't understand a simple engine, but these ones I definitely don't," he said. "And I think a lot of money's invested in that and it's not really for much reason.

"For sure with some of the stuff the automotive industry can learn a little bit. But I think there's a lot [of money] wasted in how technical it all is, and it doesn't sound good.

"So probably the power unit is the place to start [cost-saving]. And then I don't know. Less engines? We've got that now. They cut testing to save money but then everybody just built multi-million dollar simulators.

"I think [the solution is] just being sensible, whatever that means."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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