Daniel Ricciardo believes that something was ‘fundamentally wrong’ with his Renault during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo missed out on progressing from Qualifying 2 by more than three tenths of a second having only been able to clock a 1:04.790s in that 15-minute period, and will start 12th after gaining two spots due to grid penalties.
He and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg had also lacked pace in Friday practice, but the Australian believes that a deeper issue was at play in qualifying.
“To be honest, I’ll be straight today, something fundamentally felt wrong,” Ricciardo told Formula 1’s official website.
“We really struggled, I’d say all weekend, but even more so today actually.
“I think yesterday was a bit of set-up but today it felt like we had some bigger issues that we’ve never really addressed or never were really able to address, just with balance.
“It just wasn’t really happening today, so it was a bit of a handful.
“I’m more curious to understand why and where we’ve kind of lost out a bit this weekend.”
Renault also changed the rear wings on both of the RS19s after Friday’s running in response to oscillations with the DRS flap open.
However, Ricciardo maintained that the rear wing was not a factor come Saturday.
“We changed that. The rear wing is all good,” he said.
“Maybe it was better when it was lighter, I don’t know.”
Hulkenberg was 12th fastest in qualifying, representing the first time neither Renault has made the top 10 on Saturday since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
While Ricciardo jumped two positions once grid penalties were applied, Hulkenberg goes back to 15th due to changing to his fifth internal combustion engine for the season.
“I think we got a few freebies from some penalties in front of me, but hopefully we just get it all set for the race tomorrow,” added Ricciardo.
“I know we can’t change much now but just to see it all on the pads tonight and hopefully that it’s all symmetrical.”
Race start is scheduled for 2310 AEST.