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"The problem is the driver, it’s not the car" - Daniel Ricciardo's current troubles are not helped by the 'nature of Formula 1 these days'

Daniel Ricciardo at the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan - Previews
Daniel Ricciardo at the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan - Previews

Damon Hill believes that Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles against Lando Norris at McLaren could be due to the “nature of Formula 1 these days”.

Amid increasing restrictions over testing outside of race weekends, Hill believes the younger generation can keep their skills sharp through sim-racing and other activities, while older drivers are left out.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, the 1996 F1 world champion said:

“I wonder whether there’s something about that nature of Formula 1 these days which is helping a younger generation of drivers, because I think they’ve been used to playing computer games. And I think there’s something about the way the cars can be driven. Using different parts of the brain. It’s more to do with the signals they’re getting are more eye to hand, rather than through the seat of their pants, they’re able to respond to what they’re seeing. I don’t think Daniel was one of those, that generation.”

Many of the newer F1 drivers who have joined the grid in recent years have been known to indulge in sim-racing, often competing against each other while streaming on social platforms.

The likes of Lando Norris and Max Verstappen have even taken part in competitive e-sports events with varying levels of success: Norris came close to winning the virtual Indy 500 in 2020 before being punted off track on the final lap by a backmarker.

Given that many simulators closely emulate the real-world racing series, they offer a viable alternative to actual racing and private testing, allowing F1 drivers to keep their skills sharp.

Not all drivers on the grid favor driving simulators though. Some of the veterans such as Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, and Sebastian Vettel have always despised driving sims even at their team factories.

Damon Hill believes this reluctance by older drivers might be disadvantaging them against their younger rivals. He added, saying:

“And so that potentially opens up a different setup possibility for engineers, so they can go from optimum setup, which perhaps doesn’t give the feel to the old school drivers as much.”

Daniel Ricciardo hoping to take advantage of “unpredictability” in Baku to end his pointless streak

Daniel Ricciardo hopes to end his pointless streak at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP by taking advantage of the “unpredictability” that the Baku city circuit is famous for. Speaking to ABC Sports, the McLaren driver said:

“There’s always an element of unpredictability at street circuits so I’m ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come my way. I’ve finished in the points both times I’ve raced at this track so hopefully I can keep that up.”
don’t you just think of daniel ricciardo winning baku 2017 starting p10 on the grid because i do😁 https://t.co/jQy0laClUj

Ricciardo has generally done very well in Baku, having taken an emphatic victory at the venue in 2017 from the fifth row on the grid.

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Edited by Anurag C
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