Toro Rosso yet to exploit STR8’s potential – Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo says Toro Rosso are still trying to understand their 2013 car and are yet to get the best out of it.

“The basic thing is downforce, every car always wants more downforce,” said Ricciardo. “When you have understeer or oversteer it’s usually due to a lack of downforce.”

“I think we have more tools on the car and we can use them better but we’re still trying to understand it. There is more potential but not enough is showing at the moment.”

The STR8 marks a departure from the team’s previous design direction following the departure of technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. The team’s new design chief James Key joined them late last year and the new car was designed by ex-McLaren man Luca Furbatto.

Ricciardo said a major development for the STR8 will arrive in time for the fifth race of the year: “In Barcelona that’s planned. I think all the teams bring updates but hopefully that will give us what we are looking for.”

“We have quite a lot of things going on with the car that should make it quite a bit better than it was last year,” he added.

“I don’t feel we have got the most out of that stuff yet and when we do find it, it should make the car better. The thing is a lot of guys are improving and no one will stay where they are. We’ve got to find a bigger step than everyone else and at the moment we are going with them and not taking the step we need at the moment.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).