Daniel Ricciardo says RB faces a critical moment that could dictate how the rest of its season pans out amid doubts about its recent Formula 1 upgrade.

The Faenza-based squad introduced a major update at the Spanish Grand Prix that it hoped would push it clear of its midfield rivals.

However, the changes – which included a new floor, rear wing and bodywork – left the team struggling for pace and confused about where its problems were coming from.

Recent races have been focused on isolating which of the new parts work and which are troublesome – with elements of its new rear wing in particular having caused some issues.

But with F1’s recent triple-header now over, and there being some breathing space before the final back-to-backs prior to the summer break, Ricciardo thinks that decisions made now about its next steps could be hugely significant for the rest of the campaign.

“This could be a real kind of shifting point,” said Ricciardo, when asked how important it was for RB to get an understanding of its upgrade situation.

“You’re at that moment where you need to make the best calls. Every moment of F1 is important, but this update and our correlation, and our understanding, can obviously dictate what we do with the next update and how well we understand it.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“What we learn now will basically dictate where our car is in October and November, so it’s a really important period for us.”

Ricciardo said that, while he was now reliant on RB’s technical department making the right decisions, it was essential that he provided them with as much information as possible to help them understand what is happening with the car.

“I’m obviously not an engineer and not an aerodynamicist,” he said. “But in these moments, I feel our duty as a driver is to just give as much as we can.

“Feelings, feedbacks, positives, negatives, comparisons to other cars, everything – just to give them as much understanding of why we are where we are at the moment.

“I throw a lot on the table and just say: ‘you guys deal with it.’ But yeah, it’s obviously a little bit like that. We have to just put it all out there.

“Hopefully they can understand it and the simulator stuff as well, what we feel on the sim, and just try to correlate that to the real car.

“It’s a team effort. But yeah, there’s a little bit for us to go [through] from these last three weeks.”

The need for RB to not lose momentum on its season with the upgrades is made even more important by the fact that rival Haas is making successful gains with its car.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Back-to-back sixth-placed finishes for Nico Hulkenberg have lifted Haas to within fourth points of RB for sixth overall in the constructors’ championship.

Asked about which team had surprised him the most in recent races, Ricciardo said: “Definitely Haas the last couple of weekends.

“Nico’s scored big two weekends in a row now, and all of a sudden our sixth place in the constructors, the gap isn’t there anymore. It’s three or four points.

“We know this sport can shift so quickly, and you never rest and that’s why, in fairness to the team, we brought updates a couple of weeks ago, we were pushing, we’ve been bringing updates every few races, and they’ve [mostly] actually been working really well.

“This one hasn’t as much as certainly we would have wanted. But it’s not due to lack of effort.

“This is now where you get tested: where the season was looking really good – and now it’s at a kind of plateau. We have to make that right step.

“It’s not about throwing tables around the room. Of course, people are frustrated, but this is all about being constructive and trying to keep everyone together. It’s also motivational.

“You see Haas. They’ve obviously found something, so there is lap time there. There are things that we can find. So, we have got to make sure we find them.”