Daniel Ricciardo was pleased with Toro Rosso’s improvement after he qualified an excellent, albeit slightly fortunate thirteenth in Malaysia. The Australian benefitted from rain in Q2 which prevented the likes of Paul Di Resta and Pastor Maldonado in faster cars from moving up the order but Ricciardo is still looking ahead and hopes to open his points account tomorrow.
“Coming into qualifying today, if I’d been told I could sign on the dotted line for thirteenth, I’d have taken it. It’s a decent result and we haven’t been that far up the time sheets all weekend in practice. Looking at it that way, thirteenth is quite good, but in Q1, we were quite competitive and only one hundredth of a second from the top ten. With the rain coming, maybe we missed an opportunity to do better. We have improved but I still want more. Tomorrow, I plan to move up the order in what could be an unpredictable race. I really want to be in the top ten and get some points on the board early in the season.”
Teammate Jean-Eric Vergne was a casualty in Q1 though and will line up in seventeenth. The Frenchman blamed traffic for his inability to do better and expects to be much more competitive in the race.
“I don’t know how much better I could have done, but it’s never nice to be out at the end of Q1. I was held up in the final sector by another car and lost between four and five tenths and that cost me the chance of getting to Q2. If we want to find positives, then at least I have saved a set of new tyres for the race, which could be important as this track is very hard on tyres. Being behind my team-mate? It means nothing today and the important thing is to be in front tomorrow! As usual, I am still being optimistic about tomorrow and hope to go after some points. Anything can happen in this race and in free practice we saw we had a good pace on a long run, which is encouraging.”