Ricciardo says 2021 F1 regulations will make drivers more defensive

Daniel Ricciardo says the 2021 regulations may see some drivers in Formula 1 sharpening their defensive skills, rather than improving their overtaking ability.

F1 hopes that a new aerodynamic regulation and a budget cap will bring cars closer together on-track and promote better racing, with more natural overtakes.

While Ricciardo, famed on the grid as one of the latest brakers in F1, will look to benefit from the chance to get involved in more action, he says others will be pushed into a conservative approach.

“When others are passing one car, I’ll be passing two at once! That’s the way you’ve got to look at it,” he said.

“It puts more on us to defend better as well. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to overtake, it’s not going to be like everyone can do it. Everyone will be trying to defend harder.

“Having more opportunities available will mean better excitement for everyone.”

Ricciardo says F1 must learn from its previous mistakes, having pledged to make cars five seconds per lap faster in 2017, without a consideration for how it would affect racing, which has led to current frustrations between drivers and fans alike.

“The cars look big, sexy and wide. They look awesome and better than they did in 2016. But my concern was the width itself, the tracks weren’t made wider,” he said.

“There was less room to overtake. Not even overtake, just in F1, you look for the tiniest bit of clear air if you’re following another car.

“But having wider cars, it’s harder to find that clearer air, taking the downforce out of it, them taking [up] more track makes it harder to follow.

“So that was maybe not the best thing to do. I don’t want to say we’ll learn from our mistakes, but we’ll learn and move forward.”