Ricciardo reacts to drastic qualifying improvement
Saturday 17th July, 2021 - 10:28am
Daniel Ricciardo admits there was a sense of frustration about his qualifying for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix despite enjoying a massively improved outing.
The under-pressure Australian’s one-lap speed left a lot to be desired at the Red Bull Ring, which hosted the previous two grands prix.
Ricciardo qualified 13th for both legs of the double-header in Austria, compared to fourth and second for team-mate Lando Norris.
Qualifying overnight at Silverstone represented a much better showing, Ricciardo besting Norris in Q1 and Q2 before falling just two thousandths shy of the Brit in Q3.
That’s left the pair to line up sixth and seventh for F1’s first ever Sprint Qualifying – a 30-minute heat to sort the starting grid for the main race on Sunday night (starting midnight AEST).
Ricciardo was pleased, albeit a smidgeon disappointed not to be even higher up the order.
“On the whole it was a really positive day,” said the seven-time grand prix winner.
“I had really good speed all through qualifying, made some good steps and felt good with the car, so that’s important.
“I can’t help but feel frustrated because it’s so close to P4 and it’s always when you’re at the back of the close pack that you feel it most.
“But anyway, it’s progress, it’s good, it’s positive. It’s always easy to find that half a tenth with hindsight and I feel it probably was there.”
While some are sceptical of how much action will feature in Sprint Qualifying, Ricciardo has his sights set on moving forward.
“Sprint Qualifying tomorrow, we’ll see what happens, get a good start, make some positions and get up to fourth, where I believe we could’ve been today,” he added.
“That’s the plan tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton topped knockout qualifying from Max Verstappen, meaning the title rivals will share the front row for Sprint Qualifying from 01:30 Sunday (AEST).
First, teams will get another practice outing, with an hour of track time from 21:00 AEST tonight.