Ricciardo Defended By RB Team Bosses Mekies and Bayer

Monday, 01 April 2024 at 18:00
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RB's team principal, Laurent Mekies, and CEO Peter Bayer discussed Daniel Ricciardo's performance following the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo's third race weekend of the season wasn't so bad. However, it was pretty underwhelming compared to what his teammate Yuki Tsunoda showed.
While Ricciardo failed to make it out of Q1 in qualifying, Tsunoda scored a start from P8. While the 34-year-old finished only in P12, the Japanese driver brought home an incredible six points for P7.
Helmut Marko admitted after the race at Albert Park Circuit that he was puzzled by Ricciardo's performance. The 80-year-old suggested he hoped that RB would be able to build a car that suits him better. The team principal, Laurent Mekies, told motorsport.com:

"The truth is that we need to give him a car that he's more comfortable with. Yuki had a car that he was very comfortable with from FP1 here.

Although the honey badger said his situation is different from the one in McLaren, RB finds itself in a similar situation to his previous team, where one driver seems to be happy and can perform with the car while Ricciardo can't. Mekies added:

"We probably reached that stage only in qualifying with Daniel, and from there you need to build. And we feel that he has certainly done that in the race."

"He was as fast as the guys getting the points today. So we will have been fighting for the points with a more decent starting position."

On the positive side, Ricciardo was knocked out of the qualifying only because he crossed the track limits on his final flying lap. Otherwise, he would have comfortably made it into Q2, and the CEO, Peter Bayer, believes he would be even in Q3. He said:

"Honestly, I'm sure that he would have been in the top 10 as well in the qualifying. So we just need to take that away."

"On Sunday, it's difficult because in terms of traffic, in terms of how you manage the race and where you position yourself, it's also a track where it's not easy to overtake. Honestly, he did a good job, solid job, and we know that we can build on what we've seen here."