Ricciardo criticises Miami GP track surface, comments on dehydration risk

The track surface in Miami was a major challenge for the drivers during the weekend in Florida.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo is the latest driver to speak out about the asphalt at the Miami Grand Prix, saying that it reminded him of his farm in the outback in Perth.

Lando Norris and Sergio Perez both expressed concerns about the grip at their disposal after Friday practice, with the Briton saying it is “game over” if a driver leaves the racing line, as evidenced by crashes for Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon.

They both anticipated that racing would be difficult as a result, although 45 overtakes – not all of which were picked up by the TV director – were completed on Sunday.

READ: Russell on battling Hamilton in Miami: ‘You leave a bit more room for your team-mate’

Sir Lewis Hamilton ended the race in sixth, and he said the asphalt felt like a car park at B&Q.

Ricciardo was 13th after start-up issues during qualifying and poor pace from the McLaren car during the grand prix, and he was asked if the surface was up to the standard set in the pinnacle of motorsport, and he cautiously suggested that it is not.

“I want to say no, but, obviously, that could just be us being too spoiled,” he told RacingNews365.com.

“But let’s say, for what we have been used to – let’s just put it like that – it’s certainly a little more outback spec.

“It reminds me of some of the surface that I’ve got on my farm in Australia, that loose Australian gravel. In an off-road car, it’s fun, but these Pirelli [tyres] aren’t quite as switched on to this loose tarmac. 

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“It would be nice if it was a little different and we could use more of the track. When you’re following someone, you want to run a little wide and cut back, criss-cross. When you try to criss-cross, you’re off track.”

Contact between Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly at Turn One before Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel suffered the same fate was perhaps suggestive of the tricky track surface, and the 32-year-old asserts that the lack of grip was not conducive to an incident-free race.

“I saw people trying to make a move and crashing, like with [Sebastian] Vettel, [as] there was no grip on the inside. It made it hard to keep a clean race,” he explained.

Max Verstappen noted after the winning the race that the Miami-type heat he experienced was not dissimilar from that of Singapore, and he revealed that he had lost “three kilos” as a result.

Ironically, this probably helps the teams in their quest to save weight, but the physical demands of the drivers leave them requiring more fluids.

However, due to the stringent weight demands, Ricciardo divulges that it is not so simple as to just give the drivers more to drink.

“It’s got that heat factor to it,” he stated.

“It’s tough as well, because everyone is obviously fighting for that last bit of weight, so we don’t have the luxury of putting three litres in the drink system.

“We have a little bit, but it’s never enough fluid, so naturally, you’re going to get dehydrated, and it’s pretty real.”

Despite his tough experience, and the heavy criticism of the race, the 32-year-old declares that the inaugural Miami Grand Prix was generally a success.

READ: Williams boss comments on Latifi’s poor form amid axe rumours

“I wish we had a better weekend, but it was a very, very, very good Grand Prix,” he added.

A failure to score points for McLaren after Lando Norris’ collision with Pierre Gasly now leaves them 15 points ahead of Alfa Romeo in the Constructors’ Standings by virtue of Valtteri Bottas’ P7, but they remain fourth in the championship.