Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo looks back to Canada and ahead to the European Grand Prix...
My ‘week’ in Canada was a bit longer than most peoples’ as I stayed on in Montreal after the race. Quite a lot of the time we’re racing out in the middle of nowhere, so when we do go to a city race it’s nice if you can take advantage of it. After most of F1 had departed, I had a couple of days to chill out. My parents had come over for the race too, so we had a pretty nice time.
The race was – again – frustrating and we weren’t able to make an impression but the weekend definitely had positives. As everyone now knows, we tried some updates to the car and both myself and Jean-Eric [Vergne] thought they improved it. I don’t think it bought much reward though, as I think everyone else had found a little bit more too. It’s the nature of F1: sometimes you’re getting better just to stay where you are.
'The car isn’t behaving badly, it just needs a little bit more speed'
Our car certainly isn’t bad but we’re struggling a little bit because, at this stage of the season, I think we’re sharing a pitlane with quite a few rival teams who have a great car. It’s a very fine dividing line, and maybe we’re lacking a couple of tenths in comparison to them. And that’s really all it is: the car isn’t behaving badly, it just needs a little bit more speed, which means we’ve got to keep digging. The new exhausts we had in Canada felt good, the job now is to try to make them work even better.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a terrific circuit. Even though there aren’t any high-speed corners it actually flows pretty well. The chicanes are a mix of second and third gear and you can really get into a rhythm, wrestling the kerbs and being aggressive with the exits to get right up against the walls.
Superficially we’re going to another track with long straights and tight chicanes this week – but there isn’t much similarity between the Ile Notre Dame and the Valencia Street Circuit. They’re a little bit back-to-front in that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve really feels like a street circuit, whereas Valencia is more like a race track. I only did FP1 there last year but my impression was that the walls aren’t very close to the corners – there’s plenty of runoff – and it doesn’t have the bumps that you get at Montreal, Melbourne or Monaco. For me, that means it isn’t going to be as much fun!
It would be nice if we could score some points because it’s been a while. The atmosphere in the team hasn’t got negative – but we’re not exactly high-fiving one another in the debriefs either. Everyone has been very supportive of Jean-Eric and myself: I don’t think we’re making a bad job of it and I get the impression that the team accepts we’re doing all we can do at the moment. I think at the weekend – certainly on Saturday – I got about as much out of the car as it had to give. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always something else to learn but my impression is that I made a good fist of things. It’s a little bit disheartening to not come away with any points – but driving a Formula One car is always a brilliant experience wherever you finish.
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