Hungary’s Conditions Concealed AlphaTauri F1 Shortcomings That Could Impact Ricciardo

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Ricciardo resumed his former role, borrowed from Red Bull, replacing the dismissed Nyck de Vries from the Budapest stage onward.

One of the difficulties de Vries encountered with the AT04 was a corner entry flaw, a problem that similarly haunted Ricciardo during his tumultuous stint at McLaren.

Despite an eight-month hiatus, Ricciardo felt immediately comfortable in the car, qualifying ahead of his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda and securing 13th position despite Zhou Guanyu’s early collision.

However, Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s head of trackside engineering, noted that the quirks of the winding Hungaroring and high temperatures may have concealed some of the car’s handling issues. It remains uncertain how Ricciardo will adapt to his new vehicle.

Eddolls, when questioned by F1 before the race regarding the AlphaTauri’s persistent corner entry weakness, responded, “Truthfully, that hasn’t been one of the most substantial restrictions this weekend. The tyre grip and the downforce kind of covered it up. It’s not as big a problem here.

“Interestingly, this circuit demands maximum downforce and very soft tyres. Also, you can run them at some of the lowest pressures of the season due to the track characteristics.”

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Yet, Eddolls acknowledges that rectifying the corner entry weakness is an ongoing process, despite recent enhancements, including a modified floor and new front and rear wings.

“The modifications are aimed at mitigating that,” stated Eddolls. “I wouldn’t claim we’ve completely solved it, even though the drivers haven’t been commenting on it. We understand why, so we continue on the same path.

He further disclosed that Ricciardo, at 34, hasn’t pointed out any significant issues or deficiencies in his car’s performance, but affirmed the team’s requirement to augment the car’s aerodynamic load to be more competitive in the midfield.

“The positive is Daniel’s feedback has indeed validated our general strategy – we need more downforce.

“He stated, as we all acknowledge, we’re slightly lacking in downforce compared to the leading teams. But so far, he hasn’t pointed out any major areas of weakness, as we understand the car doesn’t have any major issues, we just need to increase the load to become more competitive.”

Ricciardo’s early second pit stop not only permitted him to overtake several drivers and recover 13th position after being ensnared in traffic, but also offered him an opportunity to better understand the car’s potential during the brief interval of open air.

“That was highly significant,” Ricciardo asserted. “The race might have been more disheartening with lingering questions.

“Having the speed, being in open air, committing a few errors, learning from those, and understanding what the car likes and dislikes.

“I think I gleaned a lot from the race.”

Additional reporting by Matt Kew

Read Also:
Ten insights gleaned from the 2023 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
Red Bull diverts focus to 2024 F1 car due to “significant” wind tunnel penalty
2023 Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about AlphaTauri F1 Weaknesses

Who replaced Nyck de Vries in the AlphaTauri F1 team?

Daniel Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries in the AlphaTauri F1 team from the Budapest stage onward.

What was the specific issue faced by the AlphaTauri F1 car?

The specific issue faced by the AlphaTauri F1 car was its corner entry weakness, which was a problem both for Nyck de Vries and Daniel Ricciardo.

Who is the head of trackside engineering at AlphaTauri?

The head of trackside engineering at AlphaTauri is Jonathan Eddolls.

How did the conditions at the Hungaroring affect the AlphaTauri car’s performance?

The twisty characteristics of the Hungaroring and the high temperatures masked some of the AlphaTauri car’s handling issues. This made it difficult to judge how well Ricciardo will adapt to his new vehicle.

What recent upgrades were made to the AlphaTauri car?

Recent upgrades to the AlphaTauri car include a tweaked floor and new front and rear wings. These modifications were aimed at addressing the car’s corner entry weakness.

What did Ricciardo say about his performance in the AlphaTauri car?

Ricciardo hasn’t pointed out any major areas of weakness in the AlphaTauri car. He only confirmed the team’s need to add more aerodynamic load to the car to gain a foothold in the midfield.

More about AlphaTauri F1 Weaknesses

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WheelToWheel July 25, 2023 - 6:33 pm

Yeah, corner entry weakness… sounds simple but bet it’s tricky to fix. Hoping for some strong races from Danny Ric.

HighSpeedChase July 25, 2023 - 7:53 pm

Imagine having to tweak the floor and wings just to correct one issue… F1 ain’t a simple sport. Respect!

AlphaTauriSupporter July 25, 2023 - 8:29 pm

Ricciardo hasn’t pointed out any big problems with the car… sounds good, right? Maybe we’re heading for a stronger mid-season? fingers crossed

GrandPrixGuru July 26, 2023 - 4:00 am

Temperature and track conditions can really mask car issues, huh. fascinating stuff from Eddolls.

MclarenLoyalist July 26, 2023 - 4:42 am

Didn’t expect Ricciardo to struggle with the same issues as de Vries. this is a surprise

F1Fanatic July 26, 2023 - 7:44 am

Wow! Ricciardo’s back with his old team… gonna be interesting to see how he handles these challenges.


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