Daniel Ricciardo is not sure radical change is the right move when it comes to improving formula one.
Not only are radically different technical regulations on the way in for 2017, the sport’s commercial rights are changing hands and new owners Liberty Media appear to have some grand plans.
But Australian Ricciardo told France’s Auto Hebdo that he thinks gradual change and incremental improvements are the better route.
“It’s impossible to make everyone happy,” he said.
“In my view, too many people have wrongly criticised formula one. To be honest, although two drivers have dominated the championship, the races have become no less interesting.
“I would prefer to see a balanced and gradual change rather than a radically different series — formula one is good as it is, but small improvements can make it better,” Ricciardo added.
The 27-year-old has warned that drivers will have to strengthen their necks to deal with more G-forces next year, but is unsure that faster cars will necessarily improve F1.
“The cars will be faster and look more aggressive, but I don’t know how it will affect the show,” said Ricciardo.
Turning his attention to Red Bull, Ricciardo said he has been most impressed with the steps forward taken by engine supplier Renault in 2016.
“To be honest, I asked myself a lot of questions last year in Brazil, where we got a new engine and didn’t notice even the slightest progress.
“With the chassis, Monaco and Singapore showed how good it is but Renault has really surprised everyone. We’re maybe not on Mercedes’ level yet but we’re rapidly catching up,” he said.
And finally, Ricciardo was asked about the fate of his former teammate Daniil Kvyat, and whether it was a reminder of how cruel F1 can be.
“Yes,” he said, “but if you have a good race, you need to tell yourself straight away that you need to be competitive at the next one as well, and so on.
“Even after this great weekend (in Singapore), I can’t afford to relax. Everyone in formula one has short memories.”