Daniel Ricciardo was left to rue what could have been, qualifying down in tenth place after planting his Red Bull into the wall at Turn 6 midway through the final part of the session.
Ricciardo was looking to capitalise on improvements to the Renault engine in the back of his car, but when pushing to improve his times through the opening sector of the lap, kicked the rear of his RB13 out wide and into the wall. The Australian put the accident down to nothing more than pushing beyond the limit, taking responsibility for the mistake.
“It’s obviously frustrating when you crash but in Q3 you are trying to give everything and get that last little bit out of the car,” he explained. “I knew turn six was a corner where I could do better, I was trying to carry more speed but I lost the rear on the exit and hit the wall. The rear was coming round and I tried to drive out of it but it kept going. The wall kind of comes back round a bit so I hit it.
“It’s not the wall’s fault, obviously, I’m not blaming the wall! There was no other reason, I was just pushing hard and on the edge of the grip.”
He conceded the accident was to be expected given the nature of the circuit, and that he was struggling to not feel ill at ease with the venue despite his personal preference for street tracks.
“I’m not happy with the mistake but it’s one of those tracks. Part of me doesn’t like it right now but the reality is that I do like street circuits for these reasons, it shows when you are on the limit and you pay the price when you are over that limit.”
Much like his team-mate Max Verstappen, Ricciardo conceded the Mercedes would have been untouchable regardless of his accident, and that despite his lowly starting position, his weekend could still be salvaged.
“It’s a shame as I thought we could have been fighting at the front today but the time from Mercedes was really quick, they proved to be out of reach but Ferrari weren’t too far in front at the end.
“I’m not disheartened for tomorrow, I think so much can happen around here and even if it is a one stop race I’m sure we can make progress.”