Ricciardo's Qatar GP compromised by extreme F1 fuel saving

Daniel Ricciardo says he was losing two seconds per lap in the first half of Formula 1's Qatar Grand Prix due to a system error that warned him to save fuel from the start.

Ricciardo's Qatar GP compromised by extreme F1 fuel saving
Listen to this article

McLaren driver Ricciardo had qualified a disappointing 14th on Saturday and any chance of recovering was compromised by his team telling him to be very conservative during the first half of the event.

Later in the race he was given the go-ahead to run flat out again, but he had already dropped out contention and he finished out of the points in 12th place.

"After the start we had fuel saving from super early in the race," Ricciardo said. "And I started doing what I thought was already a lot, and it was not enough.

"So Tom [Stallard, race engineer] said: 'You need to do more, you need to do more. It's not enough and blah, blah, blah.'

"To a point where I think at times we were losing probably two seconds a lap fuel saving.

"And with that, brakes get cold, tyres get cold, and you lose grip as well, so it's just kind of a downward spiral.

"So we were fuel saving for I would say a good half of the race and that just took us way, way out.

"It's the most I've had to save and the earliest in the race I've ever had to save. I was coasting at every corner and it was never enough.

"And then I don't know what happened with obviously the system, or they got another reading, but then Tom was like: 'Alright, no more, just push'.

"And I said: 'But wait, no fuel saving?' He goes: 'No, just push!' So I was like: 'I'm so confused…'

"It's clearly a system error today and it's a shame because when I could push, I felt the reference time I got at the time I was able to get.

"But we were I guess at the mercy of an error today with the reading."

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Ricciardo's life was already made harder at the start when he lost a couple of places after struggling to find a braking reference point for the first corner.

"The actual launch wasn't bad, but there was Charles [Leclerc] and [Lance] Stroll and I think I was kind of in the middle and I basically couldn't see Turn 1.

"Obviously when you are towards the back it's quite hard to see that far through the pack, so then you kind of look for the braking markers, just to get a reference on when to brake.

"And I just couldn't see them. So I kind of stayed in until as long as I could and then I lifted.

"I ultimately just lifted way too early and then a lot of people I think on the outside had a clear run and went so.

Read Also:

"I guess I was just not in a great position. But, yeah, I don't really know what I could have done more in that split second but of course I'll have a look."

He added: "I'm going to look at the bright side and say I'm glad it didn't happen in call it a podium position, because that would have been the most painful thing ever, but if definitely took us out of a chance for points."

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen "knew" he would be penalised after Qatar F1 qualifying
Previous article

Verstappen "knew" he would be penalised after Qatar F1 qualifying

Next article

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022