One year on from his maiden Formula One victory, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo is back at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix.
But instead of relishing a chance to add to his wins tally at one of his favourite circuits, he is lamenting the lack of progress made by his Red Bull team and complaining about their lack of competitive speed.
The Aussie qualified ninth on Saturday for Sunday’s race, but afterwards blasted the former champion team for their failings – and said they had lost “the key” to unlock more pace from their RB11 cars.
“I remember sitting here at this table a year ago, being about as p***ed off as I am now, so maybe it means something,” he said on Saturday night in Montreal.
Twelve months ago, a poor qualifying run preceded his race to glory and triumph.
“We just can’t seem to get a sweet spot, which brings out the frustrations,” he added.
“The last few races we’ve had updates, but to be honest they haven’t really done anything for us. I don’t think we really know what we need right now or where to find it.”
Talking openly to a cluster of reporters, he added: “We are trying, but we are not getting much in return. We probably need to take a step back and look somewhere else, or try and see if there is something fundamental we are missing.
“Obviously on the power side we know where that is, but on the chassis side there’s something there which we can’t grab onto which we had last year.
“I don’t think we have moved forward this year. We haven’t found anything that has been the key yet.
“It is not through lack of trying, we tried something big on Friday, but nothing seems to be working. Last year if we made an update here or there, it seemed to give us more.”
The big-grinning Australian won three races last year to finish a strong third in the drivers’ championship, but this season has yet to deliver a podium finish.
New team-mate Russian Daniil Kvyat finished fourth in last month’s Monaco Grand Prix, but he has also struggled as the team battles through a transitional period following four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel’s departure to Ferrari this season.