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Daniel Ricciardo Urges Caution Amidst Strong Testing Day

The Australian said things were “so far so good” although urged caution....

The newly named Visa Cash App RB F1 team (formerly AlphaTauri) had a strong showing on the first day of testing, but Daniel Ricciardo has reminded everyone that it is far too early to tell how competitive the car is just yet.

Ricciardo did manage to record to fourth fastest lap with 1:32.599, which was still 1.225s off Max Verstappen’s best time, but he was remarkably close to both Lando Norris’ McLaren and Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.

The Australian said things were “so far so good” although urged caution. It’s the first day of testing after all and things are bound to change.

“As the season goes on, the target is the front of the midfield. I would say now, where we are, it’s probably more in the midfield. I’m not sure we’re yet at the front but that is certainly our target.

“I know some people are quite excited about us coming into the season, but I want to play it a little bit cautious.

“Look, we have a decent car, but we still have a lot of work to do, and the numbers we brought for the test, we believe there are still some things to find.

“The long term, and big picture, is to be fighting at the front of the midfield. I’m not sure that we will start the season there.”

While the new VCARB looks very different to last year’s contender, Ricciardo says that it’s not so much a revolution as an evolution of that car, despite appearances.

“From the outside, it’s very different but inside the car, it’s an evolution of Abu Dhabi,” said Ricciardo.

“We brought an update for that race, and it’s just a continuation of that now. There’s a new chassis and everything but the philosophy is still a continuation from there.

“The car felt, in a positive way, quite comfortable because it was similar to last year, but looking at the big car, the Red Bull, there’s some lap time to find obviously.

“I know it’s just day one but there are still some cars that are faster than us, not only the Red Bull but a couple of others, so still some things to find.

“But the general feel and balance is okay, so it’s now just about finding a bit more lap time.”

Where can they find those gains? Ricciardo says that aerodynamics will be the key.

“It’s going to come from aero,” Ricciardo explained. “It’s all us midfield teams talk about to catch those top teams. It’s trying to find those gains in aero, and then there’s drag as well.

“So sometimes you can find load, remove drag, and that’s the key. That’s what the top teams have done well, and that’s what we need to work on.”

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