Adrian Newey admits that Sebastian Vettel has struggled to adapt to the loss of the blown diffuser in 2014, and says that RBR is trying to adjust the car to suit his style.
Vettel was the master of the art of driving with the extra rear downforce that was generated until the use of exhaust gases was completely outlawed for this year.
“There’s a fair bit of that,” Newey told this writer. “Seb has a very particular way of driving, and if we can get the car to suit that driving style, then he’s very effective. If we can’t then he’s not able to exploit that. So it’s a work in progress.
“We can’t replace the blown diffuser obviously, but Sebastian was quick before they came along. It’s a re-learning curve.”
Meanwhile Newey says that he’s been hugely impressed by Daniel Ricciardo.
“He’s been right on it really from Day One. So often a relatively inexperienced driver coming to a new team, it takes a while to settle, and he seems to have adapted straight away to the new engine regulations and the slightly different characteristics of the car as a result of that. He’s been very good.”
Newey concedes that while the RB10 was closer to Mercedes in Monaco, that might not be the case in Canada.
“It was encouraging, but the circuit flattered us, let’s say, so it may not be the same at some of the circuits coming up. Montreal may not be our strongest circuit.”