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Ricciardo questions Pirelli’s F1 tire selection for Spanish GP

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Daniel Ricciardo has questioned Pirelli’s decision to bring its hardest Formula 1 tire compounds to next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, believing they will be “way too hard”.

Pirelli made its tires more conservative and long-lasting for 2017 as part of its revised compound make-ups, as well as increasing their size by 25 per cent to come in line with the new regulations.

Two of the three dry races so far this year have been completed with one pit stop, with last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix seeing teams use the softest two compounds on offer with very little degradation.

Pirelli will debut its new hard tire in Spain next weekend, selecting the soft and mediums as well to cope with the abrasive nature of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Having sampled Pirelli’s 2017 compounds, Ricciardo believes that this is the wrong choice and that the tires are too hard.

“We’re going for the harder tires for the first time this year in Barcelona. I’m not sure if it’ll help us or not but I just don’t think it’s going to be good for anyone,” Ricciardo said.

“The tires are already hard enough so the harder compounds are just way too hard. Hopefully for Barcelona’s sake it’s hot and therefore these harder tires work, but if it’s cold then it’s going to be a struggle for everyone.”

Red Bull will bring a significant update for its RB13 car to Barcelona, and Ricciardo hopes that it can vault the team into the fight at the front of the pack with Mercedes and Ferrari.

“I hope the upgrade will give us a chance to really fight with Mercedes and Ferrari or at least get us closer,” Ricciardo said.

“The reason why it comes in Barcelona is that we put everything back in the factory were very busy so now I hope that it’s a quicker improvement. It means that the people who do the work behind the scenes get their reward as well.

“It’s a good feeling for everyone when these upgrades work.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool