The Formula 1 season-opener was not the home race Daniel Ricciardo was hoping for. Within seconds of the start, his and the thousands of loyal supporters who packed Albert Park hearts sank when he ripped off his front wing running across the grass approaching Turn 1. The damage to his Renault was significant and as a precaution, the team have opted to give the Honey Badger a new chassis for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I guess it was from the impact at the start,” said Ricciardo when asked about the reason for a chassis change. “They don’t know 100% if that was it, that is the assumption. But to play it safe we are changing chassis. Other than that it is a pretty chilled weekend, pretty relaxed, it is quite nice to just do what we got to do.”
Ricciardo was understandably downbeat after a frustrating debut race for Renault, the Australian lasting just 28 laps after that first-lap incident before the team opted to retire the car as a precaution. But Ricciardo said he was back to his normal self the Monday after the race and was in good spirits as he spoke to the media on a hot Thursday afternoon in the Bahrain paddock.