Ricciardo left confused by lack of Monaco pace

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has been left confused following his early exit from qualifying for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

The Australian will line up 12th for Sunday’s race after missing the cut to progress beyond Qualifying 2.

That performance was on trend with those from practice, Ricciardo having been 15th best on the opening day before rising to 13th in Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.

“It’s probably just a bit more confusing, because I’ve been a long way off the pace all weekend,” he said when asked by Speedcafe.com about his qualifying performance.

“We made a bit of progress in quali, but I think it’s quite easy to make progress when you’re obviously a second or so off [the pace].”

Encouragingly, there are areas where the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix winner can see improvements.

“There’s a few things which add up or makes sense,” he explained.

“I don’t think the car felt particularly bad or off, it was just like, when you see your dash and the lap times are still a long way off… [I] understood a few things, but there’s still a bit of digging to do, I would say.”

Ricciardo headed into the weekend filled with confidence after a strong showing in Barcelona last time out.

In that event he out-raced Norris for the first time this season and had seemingly turned a corner with the car.

“For sure this circuit’s different and you need the confidence and all that, but I didn’t feel like I lacked really much confidence this weekend,” he said.

“I was certainly excited to come here after Barcelona.

“You know, we made a good step, and I was coming in here pretty alright.

“If I think about Renault, like the first year, it visibly took me a few races and then by Monaco [I] actually had a pretty decent qualifying – I think I was sixth or something on the grid.

“Coming into the weekend, and even on track, I felt alright, but obviously we were always just on the back foot and always kind of two steps behind, not even a step behind,” he added.

“Normally, even if you’re slow, you’ll be good on one corner, but it wasn’t really the case.

“The car is certainly tricky to execute well, you have to just be very precise and for sure I’m still probably not driving as it deserves to be driven.

“That’s obviously still something which I’ll accept that I need to obviously improve and figure out how to drive the car better.

“But yeah, I felt like we made a good step last weekend, so yeah, we’ve certainly taken a back step for now.”

While Ricciardo lines up 12th, team-mate Lando Norris will start fifth, having missed a front row berth by just 0.044s.

The Monaco Grand Prix gets underway at 23:00 AEST this evening.

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