The Infiniti Red Bull Racing outfit saw their drivers lock out the third row of the grid at Hockenheim, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo out-qualifying Sebastian Vettel in front of the German’s home fans. Both drivers felt they had good sessions, and both are aiming to move up the order on Sunday.
Ricciardo admitted he would have liked to be higher on the grid than fifth, but he feels the Mercedes-powered teams have the power advantage, particularly in the middle sector. He has ambitions to finish the race on the podium on Sunday, and feels the team will be in a battle with a lot of competitors for a spot in the top three.
“It wasn’t too bad today, we would like to be further forward than fifth, but the lap I did was pretty good,” said Ricciardo. “I made quite an improvement in Q3 from Q2 so I can’t really argue with the lap I did, but as a team we are still a bit off.
“We know the Mercedes is strong, but the Williams was also continually showing their pace today and the McLaren with Kevin was good, so we have to keep working but we did what we could. I think the race will be close between the top eight tomorrow and it will be a battle for the final podium spot.”
For four-time F1 champion Vettel, his day was not smooth, and he made a mistake on his final run that saw him qualify only sixth, but was much happier with his car after the adjustments made earlier in the day. He feels he is in a good place to have a strong race on Sunday.
“It was a bit tough today and the final run didn’t come together, but other than that it was good session,” said Vettel. “I felt happier in the car this afternoon that I did this morning, so that was good. We’re not sure what the weather will be like tomorrow; we will have a reasonable position to do well from.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believed the team got the most out of the session in Germany, and ended up roughly where he believed they should have been. He is hopeful the two drivers can move forward in the race.
“Fifth and sixth are probably about the maximum amount we could get in qualifying today,” admitted Horner. “We are very competitive in sections 1 and 3, but unfortunately the middle sector really seems to favour the Mercedes-powered cars here in Hockenheim. Nonetheless, both drivers did the best they could to extract the most they could out of the car and hopefully in tomorrow’s race in these hot conditions, we can progress from fifth and sixth on the grid.”