“A bunch of us drivers were consulted on the changes”- Daniel Ricciardo reveals that he, along with others, were consulted for Albert Park changes.
Albert Park, which has been officially organizing the Australian Grand Prix over the years, is going through some massive renovation, which will widen several turns. The Turn 9 and 10 Chicane will be removed entirely.
Daniel Ricciardo‘s home circuit is Albert Park, and he has revealed that his compatriots consulted him along with a few of his contemporaries on the proposed reforms.
“A bunch of us drivers were consulted on the changes, and I was happy about that; we were allowed to give our thoughts and input,” said McLaren driver Ricciardo to the Motorsportweek, the only Australian on the Formula 1 grid.
“Not all drivers will be aligned, of course, but one thing we can agree on is wanting to make race day better. I had that in mind when I had my input – widening some of the apexes, creating more of a straight in some places to allow for an opportunity for more slipstreaming.”
“There’s a lot of fourth and fifth-gear corners, and it’s pretty narrow at certain parts. It’s been somewhere that has been hard to overtake typically because of that width, and because it’s so fast, in these cars, it’s even trickier to follow through the high-speed corners.”
“By changing some of the apexes and creating some more room, allowing more chance to make a diving overtake, or even change your line to get out of the dirty air, I think it’ll really help.”
Turn 9 & 10 are the essential sacrifice.
Ricciardo has claimed that there are a few corners on the track which are too good, and that is why the work on turn 9 and 10 will eventually facilitate the betterment of the track.
“Turn 1, the way it has been, it’s such a fast corner, and you brake so late there that your apex width is minimal,” he explained. “Turn 3 is similar that the straight kind of turns, and you’re braking in the corner,” he added.
“So there’s not much room to pass by the point that you’re at the apex; it’s a very narrow angle. Widening those corners allows for a later apex and potentially leaves the door open a little longer to allow the opportunity to overtake.
“Removing Turns 9 and 10 is a compromise – Turn 10 was always pretty challenging because you’d be exiting close to the wall – but the last couple of years, the cars are so good now that the traction out of 10 is pretty easy and the wall wasn’t really a threat anymore.”
“The car didn’t run out there as aggressively as it used to. So removing that chicane, you’re now going to have a massive tow out of Turn 6, which is going to be good with the additional DRS zone.”
“Widening the apex at Turn 13… I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday, and we can have some fun on the brakes.”