The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team had a disappointing qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo taking fifth and German Sebastian Vettel missing out on the final part of qualifying altogether and qualifying twelfth. The home race for Red Bull has not gone to plan for them so far.
Canadian Grand Prix race winner Ricciardo managed to scrape into the third part of qualifying and eventually took fifth place on the grid, but feels his team has been on the back foot all weekend as they try and chase the front runners.
“It was tough out there,” said Ricciardo. “It’s been tough all weekend to be honest and it’s felt like we’ve had to squeeze everything out of the car to get into the top 5, which we just managed to do today. All weekend we’ve been on the back foot and I think respect to the other teams, they managed to get their cars dialled in well for this weekend and we’ve just got to keep pushing. Fifth was the best we could have done in that session today.”
Team-mate and four-time World Drivers’ Champion Vettel was eliminated in the second session of qualifying and will start twelfth once Sergio Perez’s penalty is applied. He felt his laps were good but the pace of the car was not enough to get into the top ten.
“There were no real problems today, other than that we weren’t quick enough,” said Vettel. “Daniel was quicker in Turn 5 and has been quicker in Turn 2 all weekend. We’ll see how it goes for the race; it should be hotter tomorrow and hopefully we can make a big step and take on some of the other cars.”
Team Principal Christian Horner believed fifth was the best his team could have done in Austria as they struggled for pace during qualifying. He has been encouraged about the pace shown in the longer runs during practice that gives them hope of a stronger race.
“I think P5 was the maximum we were going to get out of today with Daniel, who extracted everything he could from the car, in what was a difficult qualifying session for us,” admitted Horner. “Sebastian struggled to generate the pace over a single lap and it was obviously disappointing not to make it through into Q3. More encouragingly, our race pace looks better and hopefully if temperatures increase, we’ll be pushing to make a lot of headway tomorrow in front of Red Bull’s home crowd.”