Red Bull Racing are feeling to very different emotions after qualifying for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo starting seventh and Daniil Kvyat only managing 12th after issues with the power unit.
For Ricciardo’s Red Bull, his starting position is possibly just as much as he would have hoped for considering in front of him are the Ferraris, the Williams and all the conquering Mercedes. However, he is hopefully that come the race he can get further forward.
“P7 is what we expected for today. I think we are always trying to find a compromise, us and drivers and the engineers, and they have done the best job they can with the settings we are running. With quali we seem to find more pace as the session goes on and that’s important. Driveability has improved and our long-run pace is better, I think we should be closer to Williams tomorrow and I am optimistic we can have a good fight for top five,” Ricciardo explained.
Unfortunately for Red Bull’s Russian star qualifying saw more of the problems that had plagued him in the practice sessions the day previous, with a lack of power to blame for his failure to get out of Q2.
He said: “I was losing some power today and the team is investigating the reason for this. I am disappointed but we have to keep our heads up. We are working hard to keep moving forward, at this track we have a straight-line speed disadvantage and we are trying to find a solution for that.”
Fortunately for team boss Christian Horner, he can see the silver lining on the increasingly dark cloud: “We got everything out of the car there was today, and unfortunately P7 over a single lap is where we currently are. Daniil, after a few issues at the beginning of Q2, which we managed to rectify before his last run, just missed out by less than a tenth of a second for Q3 to line up P12. We saw yesterday our long-run pace was respectable, so hopefully we can use that to good effect tomorrow.”