Daniel Ricciardo has reason to be optimistic about his chances in the 2017 Formula One series, as new specifications for the cars mean that increased downforce and cornering grip and lowered top speeds might give Ricciardo and his Red Bull Racing Team the rare opportunity to view the cars of Team Mercedes in their mirrors, rather than consistently seeing them ahead.
Ricciardo recently had the opportunity to experience a simulator that replicates the future car configuration and came away pleased that future races will be less a question of raw horsepower and more a contest of handling and driver skill.
In the 2016 F1 season, Ricciardo’s best results have come on courses with tight corners and shorter straightaways, such as the course used for the Grand Prix of Monaco. He and his team were fastest there this year.
The g-forces generated by the new car setup, according to Ricciardo, will necessitate more neck training for the drivers, something of which they already receive plenty.
Wider Pirelli tyres are primarily responsible for the extra grip and the downforce is obtained by modifications to the cars’ aerodynamics.