Daniel Ricciardo 'doesn't care' if 2021 F1 cars are slower

Daniel Ricciardo in action for Renault

Daniel Ricciardo says he “doesn’t care” if Formula 1 cars are several seconds per lap slower in 2021, if it helps improve the quality of racing.

Formula 1 will introduce revised sporting and technical regulations – along with financial regulations for the first time – in 2021, aimed at reducing the impact of dirty air and its effect on racing.

One trade-off of the new regulations is that lap times are expected to slow by around 3-3.5 seconds compared to the current cars.

Ricciardo, though, stressed it is worth having slower cars if the spectacle of the sport improves.

“I don’t care, I don’t mind, one of the most fun years I had in F1 was 2014, and the cars then were eight seconds slower than now,” he said.

“As long as we are racing close and hard. During our meeting [in Austin] the FOM coverage was filming the go-karters at the kart track, and there was some battling and I was just getting excited watching them, going 30 mph, but anything that is going to be close is exiting.

“I’d rather have good racing than single file lap records. Then we might as well do time trials for the rest of our careers. So I’m ok with three seconds slower.

“Ideally, we’d keep going the same pace or even faster but have overtalking, we do want to go fast, don’t get me wrong, but if we do have to choose then I’d take slower lap times with good racing than faster times with no race. 2016 was all right, it was not as slow as 2014.”

Ricciardo added that the current cars “look sexy, wide, awesome” and “better than in 2016” but conceded that “the tracks were not made wider but the cars were, so there is less overtaking.

“Not even overtaking, but in F1 you look for the tiniest but of clear air following a car. If he is on the apex curb, you try and take a bit more apex curb just to get some clear air on your front wing.

“Having wider cars it is harder to find that clear air, so that alone for me, taking the downforce out of it, taking more track, means it is harder to follow.

“That was…maybe not the best thing to do. But I don’t want to say learn from our mistakes but we will learn moving forward.”