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2019 F1

Ricciardo needs harder skin for midfield life – boss

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Cyril Abiteboul says Daniel Ricciardo may develop a “harder skin” for life further down the F1 grid.

Having switched from the top team Red Bull, Australian Ricciardo endured a horror start to his Renault adventure by damaging his wing even before the first corner at home in Melbourne.

He said afterwards that the weekend had left him “exhausted” and “flat”.

“It’s a long week,” Ricciardo said of his home race.

“I haven’t had much chance to rest. I’ve been trying to please everyone except myself. Next year it will be different.”

Ricciardo said the preparation for Bahrain will be completely different, and more like “a holiday week” so that he can “prepare properly”.

“I think my preparation was not what it should be,” he said. “I just have a feeling that I didn’t prepare for the race at all because I was trying to please everyone else.”

One interpretation is that Ricciardo has not yet adjusted to life outside the ‘top three’ F1 teams.

“It’s not that he underestimated it, but as a midfield team we do not operate in the same way as a top team,” team boss Abiteboul told France’s Auto Hebdo.

“Maybe Daniel will have to get a harder skin and some more patience at the start,” he added.

“But I am absolutely not panicked. He is an intelligent guy. In Bahrain we will have a more traditional circuit with more space at the sides,” Abiteboul added.

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