Daniel Ricciardo is optimistic that Formula 1 will eventually move towards a rule package that will diminish the car’s role in determining performance, and will better reflect the talent of drivers further back in the field.
“Lewis [Hamilton] has won three of the last four championships, but if he was in a midfield team, he wouldn’t have three of the last four championships,” Ricciardo said. “The car is a big part of it, but you need to be a good driver to get the equipment to the top. You need both. It’s still a bit more dominant with the car than the driver – I’d say maybe 75 per cent to 25 per cent.
“If we make it a bit more equal by bringing the driver in a bit more and taking the equipment out, then that would be better. A 50/50 would be something more realistic in the near future, and hopefully that’s the case.
“Even from Lewis to the guy that’s coming last, maybe the lap time says 3.0s, but the driver is maximum 1.0s. We are all a lot closer than that, and it would be great if we could all stay within 1.0s with the equipment because then the racing would be pretty fun.”
While acknowledging the role of Mercedes’ dominance in Hamilton’s recent title success, the Australian reserves special respect for the way his rival maintains a high performance level in F1 while simultaneously pursuing numerous interests outside of the sport.
“Lewis, even if with the best material, he still had pressure and expectation, and he’s had that since he started F1 ten years ago,” Ricciardo said. “I think he’s always been on a very high level, and he’s also got a lot of other distractions in his life, and can still perform when it counts. I respect him and take my hat off to him – as a driver, he is very competitive.”