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Formula 1

Ricciardo on the ‘Seb spin’ that ruined his race

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Daniel Ricciardo described the mistake that cost him a points finish in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone as a “Seb spin”, given the similarity to the spate of such incidents his former Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel has suffered.

The Renault driver was running 10th on the 31st lap of the race having made his second pitstop five laps earlier when he defended into the Village right-hander after McLaren’s Carlos Sainz got a run on him.

Ricciardo held the inside line and the pair were side by side exiting the corner when the Renault driver spun on the application of the power, which he put down to a loss of downforce on the left side of the car.

This forced an unplanned third pitstop five laps later given the damage to the hards he was running on that made the car “pretty bad in the high speed’ according to a radio message, on his way to a 14th place finish.

Ricciardo said he spoke to Vettel in the media pen after the race about it, as it’s the first time Ricciardo’s experienced the loss of downforce the Ferrari driver has struggled with in such situations

“Unfortunately, the last few years it’s a bit of a ‘Seb spin’ when you’re the inside car, then as soon as you get on the throttle you lose it,” said Ricciardo when asked by The Race about his spin.

“He did it with me in Austin in 2018. It’s one I don’t think I’d experienced yet.

“I could see Carlos and you’re trying to squeeze a little bit but not have contact, and then as soon as I opened the wheel and then got on throttle it just went around.

“When you are in such close vicinity to another car on that side angle, you lose a chunk of downforce that’s normally coming in from that side and keeping the car down so I think it’s just a very quick loss of downforce and it can obviously catch you out.

“It was a little bit of salt in the wounds. By that point we were already on the back foot, I don’t want to say it was over but then with that I just wanted to roll over a little bit and just put my head down! Not a fun afternoon in the end.”

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari F1 2020

Ricciardo started the race fifth and slipped to sixth behind Lance Stroll on the first lap and stayed behind the Racing Point through the first two stints.

He admitted that, were he to have the race again, he would have attempted to match team-mate Esteban Ocon’s one-stop strategy, which yielded an eighth-place from 14th on the grid, given

“We set ourselves up well In qualifying], but obviously didn’t convert,” said Ricciardo.

“It started falling away after the first stint. I don’t think we were crazy fast in the beginning but I think we were doing decent enough to hang in that fight with Racing Point.

“Stroll got me on the fast lap, then we were able to run with them and pull away a little bit from the cars behind. So we were going OK and then we pitted for the medium and that set just didn’t work, it fell apart very quickly and soon enough we had to pit again for the hard.

“So that lost us a lot of track position and then obviously we were in a battle and then I had that spin trying to defend with Carlos. It kind of snowballed a bit away from us.

“In the briefing now, in hindsight, we go longer with the first stint and try to put the hard on and do a one stop.”

Ricciardo added that the strategic options were more limited in the race because of Renault being the only team to use up one of its two sets of hard Pirellis during Friday practice.

The hard proved the most popular tyre in the race, with 15 of the 18 other drivers using their two tests in the grand prix and Renault’s Friday strategy always looked like a mistake.

“I think actually we suffered with Friday,” said Ricciardo.

“We were the only team to run the hard and that seemed to have potentially hurt us a bit today.”

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