Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo seemed pleased with his qualifying performance of third at the Hockenheimring, claiming the titles of the ‘best of the rest’ behind the two Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
The Australian driver knew that he had a lot to prove at the end of Q3, and delivered by putting a strong lap of 1:14.726 in to place him third.
“In Q3 I knew I had to find some more time and I put a really good lap together in the first run,” commented Ricciardo.
“Then I knew there wasn’t much more for the second run so I probably tried a little bit too hard and made a few mistakes, but in the end it was a nice qualifying. Third is a good place to start.”
Having closed the gap to Ferrari to just one point in Hungary, it seems that Red Bull will become the closest competitors to Mercedes leading into the summer break. Ricciardo appeared optimistic about the performance of the cars and the team.
“Hopefully we can look at Mercedes tomorrow and have a good battle with them and not focus on what’s happening behind us,” he said. “The feeling in the team is very good at the moment. In the last three races now both Red Bulls have been in front of Ferrari and it seems like we’re getting a little bit closer to Mercedes.”
With regards to the continuing improvement and evolution of the car and team, once more Ricciardo could only speak positively, praising the morale of the team and that the Red Bull’s pace in Friday’s long runs seemed to have improved.
“Everyone in the team is happy and it’s nice standing here knowing that I’m in the top three. Tomorrow I think we’ll have a good chance. The long runs yesterday looked a bit better than they did in Budapest so let’s see. I’ll start the race on slightly older tyres because I had to do two laps in Q2, which means they are not as fresh for the start but it’ll be fine.
“I’ll go hard and hopefully get in front and at least lead some of the race. If I can’t lead the last lap then I’ll try and lead some and be on TV. Whoo!”