F1 Raceweek: Horner praises Ricciardo response, Ferrari optimistic over upgrades
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists Daniel Ricciardo is fully focused on the task at hand at the Canadian Grand Prix as he looks to bounce back from consecutive heartbreaks.
Ricciardo was in a winning position at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 15 and was even more of a chance for victory a fortnight later in Monaco, but endured heavy disappointment on both occasions.
In Barcelona a poor strategy choice by Ricciardo's engineers saw him drop from first to fourth, giving team-mate Max Verstappen his first ever Formula One win. In Monaco, a calamitous pit-stop by Ricciardo's mechanics gifted Lewis Hamilton a win.
The back-to-back disappointments led to Ricciardo stating he had been "screwed" by his team, but Horner believes the Australian has been able to put all of that behind him heading into Montreal.
"Obviously the whole team was gutted about being in such a strong position in the Monaco Grand Prix, which isn't your standard race, and then to obviously lose what looked like a certain victory," he said.
"A huge amount of analysis has gone into what's happened, why it happened, and as with all these things it's never a straightforward scenario. I think the way that Daniel has dealt with has been very good.
"After taking a couple of days out, he's now focused fully on the positives - the fact that the car is competitive, the fact that we were able to qualify on pole - our first pole since 2013 - and the fact that the upgrades with the engine and chassis are all working in harmony with each other bodes every well for the rest of the year.
"Of course there is disappointment over Monaco but a lot of optimism for the future and the future races."
Ferrari, meanwhile, will introduce a revised power unit with upgrades to its turbocharger for Canada in a bid to win their first Grand Prix of the season.
"So far, they've performed as expected," Ferrari senior performance engineer Jock Clear said. "Obviously you don't arrive with these things fresh out of the box. It's done a lot of work on the dynos back at home. It's been fully calibrated.
"We should know what to expect and the good thing about today is that we've had no surprises in that respect. It's doing what it said on the tin.
"Some of things we have looked at in the last couple of weeks, after Barcelona and Monaco, are pointing us in the right direction. But it's all relative and our pace is always going to be judged by the people that are right at the front and until we're right at the front we're not going to be satisfied. So we just keep searching for that performance."
Sergio Perez put in his best performance of the season last time out in Monaco, finishing third on the grid for his third podium in F1.
While they may not have as many resources as the other teams within F1, Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley is not surprised about their level of success in the sport.
"I don't think that we're punching above our weight. I think we're working to reality really in terms of where the team is. The resources have been built up," he said.
"[Co-owner] Vijay [Mallya] has invested heavily in the team over the last few years and we're moving forward as a team as a whole. We may be under-resourced in terms of personnel but I think we do a good job in terms of assets.
"I'd like to think we're punching where we should be. And as far as Monaco is concerned it was a great result but we've got strange races, with Monaco, Montreal and an unknown in Baku and I think until we get back into the standard circuits it's unfair to make a judgement."