Ricciardo unable to match track evolution in Monaco qualifying

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo says he was unable to keep pace with the evolving grip levels during qualifying for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Ricciardo exited the session in Qualifying 2 with just the 14th fastest time, more than a second slower than the pace ultimately set by team-mate Lando Norris who will start fifth.

It’s been a difficult weekend for the Australian after crashing out of Free Practice 2 on Friday afternoon.

He was then one of the most prolific drivers on track in final practice but was then caught short when it came to qualifying and the field increased its pace.

“Disappointed for sure, that’s the most conservative way to explain how it feels,” he said of his early exit.

“I think Q1 felt like we were pretty much in the ballpark.

“We’ve made a good step since P3 and just kept building up, especially obviously after yesterday.

“So the plan was really just that, and then Q2 was just… couldn’t make another step.

“As the track improves and everyone makes that kind of step that you normally do, that’s where I just don’t really feel and seem to be able to extract that half a second that should be there.

“It’s obviously just frustrating, but not much more to say.”

While Friday’s crash hindered his progress, the 32-year-old doesn’t believe that is what made the difference.

“Of course it doesn’t help, but that’s… I had P3 to get back into the feel of it,” he reasoned.

“I think that’s what we were doing, just trying to still get on top of it and then we learned a few things as well with the set-up.

“So we made some changes for quali and I think Q1 it was actually looking pretty good, I made a few mistakes.

“I think actually we were actually in a much better place than I guess where we looked.

“But then in Q2, and when everyone else seems to be able to make a step as you normally do, like grip improves and you can just keep leaning on the car, that’s where I don’t really have much.

“Ultimately, it’s just getting it on the limit and evolving with the conditions and with the track, it’s still a bit of a puzzle.”

The Monaco Grand Prix begins at 23:00 AEST, with Charles Leclerc heading an all-Ferrari front row.

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]