Daniel Ricciardo mystery after Australian Grand Prix qualifying exit, video, reaction, car

Daniel Ricciardo’s first-ever Q1 exit at his home Grand Prix has intensified pressure on his position – and future in F1 – with the Australian at a loss to explain his lack of pace.

Ricciardo was one of the first drivers eliminated in qualifying after his best time was deleted for exceeding track limits.

The Australian was in the drop zone in the dying stages of Q1, but appeared to pull out a clutch lap time for RB that had him safely going through to Q2.

But replays showed Ricciardo left the track limits between Turns 4 and 5 by a big margin, resulting in his time being made invalid.

Watch the FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX LIVE in 4K and ad-break free during racing, Sunday 3pm AEDT. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

Albon completely cooks car in nasty hit | 00:52

“It’s very difficult to swallow,” RB team principal Laurent Mekies told Sky Sports after Q1.

“But that’s the way it is. Daniel was doing a very good job, probably his best lap so far and more than enough to get into Q2.”

Ricciardo explained to broadcast media that he thought he was quick, even if the time was invalid.

He now remains perplexed by his speed gap to teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who by stark contrast, impressed by qualifying in eighth.

“I felt like I got everything out of it, and then when I saw it still wasn’t good enough, let’s say compared to Yuki, that for me is… yeah, I’m still a bit puzzled,” he said.

“Because I know what those laps normally mean, and I crossed the line being like, ‘yeah, that was a good one’, but those ones are normally enough, more than enough, and it’s still not.

“And then looking at the time he’s doing in Q2, I could tell you now, I can’t get seven more tenths out of it than what I got in Q1.

“So I’m sure there’s a bit of track evo (evolution), but honestly there’s still some things we’ve got to look at, because it’s been definitely a struggle so far.”

Ricciardo said that it was his best qualifying lap of the year despite the time being deleted. Had it remained, it still would have only been quick enough for a narrow progression to Q2.

He insisted, however, that he’s at the limit of his car’s potential, and is not experiencing the same crisis of confidence he was at McLaren.

It makes it all the more confusing why he’s still struggling for speed.

Daniel Ricciardo has a lot to think about. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo has a lot to think about. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Ricciardo said car changes after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix showed some promise in terms of closing the gap to Tsunoda, but the issue now remains.

“It looked like it was better, but I’m still not fully convinced,” he said, “Like I said, we still feel like we’re struggling more than we normally are in a car that again I’m pretty happy with.

“It’s actually been a pretty nice car to drive. Just the lap time is proving otherwise.”

Ricciardo added that it’s “painful” to be starting his home Grand Prix in 18th position but is hopeful of “charging through the field”.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports’ Naomi Schiff said that what should worry Ricciardo most is not the general lack of pace, but the fact he doesn’t know where the issue lies.

“I think there’s more to it. I think, from what we hear there, he doesn’t really understand where it’s all going wrong,” she said.

“Because to him it feels like the lap time should be showing up but it’s not. So that’s even worse, when you can’t pinpoint and target exactly where you need to make improvements. It’s harder to fix the problem.”

Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t sure what went wrong. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Speaking about Sunday’s race, Karun Chandhok said Ricciardo will need to remain patient at a track where high attrition is not uncommon.

“He’s just going to have to survive in some ways because this is a track where we’ve seen incidents and there’s a bit of jeopardy involved,” he said.

“Maybe that is something where he’s just going to play the long game and try to stay clean for the first lap and see how it unfolds.”

Ricciardo will need to move up the field to alleviate some of the pressure that’s been building since the first two races of the season.

The 34-year-old has made it no secret that he wants a drive back at Red Bull, but has failed to impress the team’s senior adviser Helmut Marko, who has twice publicly called out his former junior driver.

Marko said after Saudi that Ricciardo needs to “come up with something soon”, while this weekend in Melbourne, he told Sky Germany that he’s “too slow”.

Source link

Leave a Comment