Daniel Ricciardo ‘puzzled’ by qualifying deficit to Yuki Tsunoda, qualifying comments, starting grid


Daniel Ricciardo admitted the deficit to his RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda even before his quickest qualifying lap was deleted has left him “puzzled”.

Ricciardo set a time at the end of Q1 that was good enough for 12th, but had the time deleted after he ran well wide in the carpark section at turn four.

That deleted lap relegated him to 18th, which will be last on the grid after it was confirmed the Sauber of Zhou Guanyu would start from the pit lane. The Williams of Logan Sargent is missing.

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It was Ricciardo’s worst ever qualifying performance in Melbourne.

The time before it was deleted was a 1:17.356 – still more than a 10th of a second slower than the time set by Tsunoda in the same session.

To rub salt further into the wound for Ricciardo, Tsunoda would go on to make it into Q3 for the second time in successive races. He will start eighth, and is in with a chance to score points.

Speaking after qualifying, Ricciardo said he felt the deleted lap was the best he’d stitched together so far this season.

“From my side, 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,” he said.

“I’m still a bit puzzled because I know what those laps normally mean. So, I crossed the line, being like ‘Yeah, that was a good one’.

“Obviously, the time got deleted, but the lap itself was definitely the best quali lap I’ve done this year.

“And going into Q2, I don’t know where there was much more time. You obviously take a couple of tenths from track (evolution), but six, seven 10ths? That’s not in it.”

Ricciardo said he was thrown wide after taking too much kerb on the inside, which unsettled the car and threw him wide.

Given Albert Park has traditionally been a hard track to overtake, he’s in for a tough afternoon. Having said that, tyres are softer this year than they were last year, and a wide range of strategies are expected to play out up and down pitlane.

Oscar Piastri will start in P5, after Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding.

The lights will go out at 3pm AEDT.

Starting grid for 2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

3. Lando Norris, McLaren

4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

5. Oscar Piastri, McLaren

6. Sergio Perez, Red Bull

7. George Russel, Mercedes

8. Yuki Tsunoda, RB

9. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

10. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

11. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

12. Alex Albon, Williams

13. Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber

14. Kevin Magnussen, Haas

15. Esteban Ocon, Alpine

16. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

17. Pierre Gasly, Alpine

18. Daniel Ricciardo, RB

PIT LANE: Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber



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