Daniel Ricciardo thinks the European Grand Prix could potentially be the race of the season so far.
The Red Bull Racing driver had a bad start to the Grand Prix weekend after being the first driver to crash on the Baku City Circuit after carrying too much speed into Turn 15 and losing the rear of the RB12 and hitting the wall on the outside of the corner during first practice, but the Australian’s weekend improved from there after he was able to improve in every session.
In qualifying he managed to set a fastest lap time to qualify in third, ahead of the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. The German ended his session with the same fastest lap time as the Australian, but as Ricciardo crossed the line before Vettel he was awarded third.
With the Sahara Force India of Sergio Perez awarded a five place grid penalty due to a change of gearbox, Ricciardo will now start the Grand Prix from second, and the Australian believes the race on Sunday is going to be really interesting and he would be very surprised if there is no action on track.
“It’s my third front row of the season so that’s really nice,” said Ricciardo. “I owe a big thanks to the team for getting me to the start of that queue (in the pit lane), that was a crucial part of it and allowed me to get a clean lap.
“We learnt a lot from yesterday and were able to connect the dots overnight which led to a strong day. The race tomorrow is going to be really interesting, I would be very surprised if it’s a dull and boring race. If anyone hasn’t watched the GP2 race from this morning I suggest they do. Judging by it you need to survive, be smart and pick your opportunities to be fast using the slipstream well.
“I think it could potentially be race of the season so it’s going to be fun. On average we have been having better starts than Mercedes, so if I get a good start it won’t be too tactical, just aim to get good track position and then figure it out from there. I have been handed second place on the grid by Perez’s penalty so we’ll take what we get and see how we go tomorrow.”