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Ricciardo reveals growing frustrations at Red Bull ahead of team’s home race

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Ricciardo reveals growing frustrations at Red Bull ahead of team’s home race
Jun 16, 2015, 6:25 PM

Daniel Ricciardo has voiced his growing frustration at his lack of competitiveness at Red Bull this season hinting that the team is need of an over...

Daniel Ricciardo has voiced his growing frustration at his lack of competitiveness at Red Bull this season hinting that the team is need of an overhaul.

In Canada, the Australian, who limped home in 13th place in Montreal – his lowest finishing position since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2013 when he raced for Toro Rosso – said: “for my career, I need to be aware of what’s happening, I don’t want to be one of the champions who never was.” And now, in a new interview, the three-time grand prix winner has said that the difficult 2015 season means that changes must be made at the team.

“I think we’re in a difficult place now,” he told F1i.com. “The hardest thing is we know where we lack in power, that’s a known, but there is still something within the car and the chassis which I don’t think we quite understand. That’s where I don’t think at the moment we have the confidence to move forward.

“Obviously the team has got the resources and whatever, but we’re bringing updates quite often and they’re not really giving us much. We’ve hit a small little bump in the road and we’ve got to try to overcome it sooner rather than later.”

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“It’s tough. I’m definitely experiencing it now and fortunately I am a positive guy and I do get motivated pretty easily, but even for my level of positive I’ve been pretty down quite a few times this year. It’s not fun.”

Team insiders acknowledged after the race in Montreal that something was clearly amiss with Ricciardo’s car beyond its power deficit and the Aussie is reportedly due to receive a new chassis at the team’s home event at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

Ricciardo, though, believes that more fundamental changes may be necessary.

“We’ve got to start seeing some change, that’s it. We’re nearly half way through the year,” he said. “Also last year we got some wins but we were nowhere near Mercedes the majority of the time so we can’t afford to slip back any further. We’ve got to start seeing some change otherwise I think something big has to happen and someone needs to step up and make it happen.

“It’s going to be a busy next one or two months. I think looking ahead to next year, we can’t continue like this. We do need to make something happen.

“These are things which maybe we have to be open-minded about,” he added. “Yes, there’s still a lot of people in the team who were there in the championship days but maybe we need to step back and have a look at the big picture. Maybe nothing’s changed but the sport evolves and maybe something needs to change.

“I think we’ve got good people in the team but if something needs to be sort of fixed around a little bit and give someone a fresh approach on something, then I think maybe something like that could help. I don’t know the team in the factory well enough, this is obviously down to Christian and the other guys but even starting to bring in some of my ideas and thoughts on this will maybe keep it open-minded for everyone.”

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Ricciardo has been linked with a move away from the struggling team but rumours of a switch to Ferrari in place of the under fire Kimi Räikkonen were scotched last week by Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko, who told Germany’s Sport Bild that the Perth racer “has a bulletproof contract with us.”

“He will definitely be with us in 2016,” Marko added.

The assertion appears to hold water. A move to Ferrari seems unlikely, especially at a time when Sebastian Vettel’s relationship with the team is still in a successful honeymoon phase and would undoubtedly be upset by Ricciardo once again being installed as his team-mate. Mercedes, meanwhile, have both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on long-term contracts.

Potential options exist at McLaren, in place of Jenson Button, and possibly at Williams, should Valtteri Bottas replace Räikkonen at Ferrari, though the former’s slow progress with Honda makes it less appealing than remaining with Red Bull, while Williams lack of resources compared with Red Bull make staying with the Milton Keynes outfit in the hope of a turnaround a more viable choice.

Sticking rather than twisting appears to be sensible options for Ricciardo, but the Australian is keenly aware that he needs to capitalise on the high stock he held in the paddock at the end of a 2014 season in which he regularly outpaced and outraced Vettel.

“I think I can make a bit more noise now,” he said of his position as de facto team leader at the Milton Keynes squad. “I feel like I need to as well. I know everyone’s not happy where we are but me as well, I’ve got a small window of success, an F1 career is not long. So I think I can speak up and try to push for a change if I feel there needs to be one. Obviously also the senior guys in terms of… there’s obviously contracts in place for some things but if you’re not making progress then I think you’ve got to try and push the envelope a little bit.”
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo Shop Now
Teams Red Bull Racing Shop Now