Daniel Ricciardo was left a little frustrated after seeing Valtteri Bottas deny him fifth place on the grid by just one-thousandth of a second, but felt Red Bull Racing were around where he expected them to be during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Australian was forced to abandon their plan to make it through to the top ten shootout on the Soft Pirelli compound after failing to get a decent lap time in, and ultimately will start the race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on the Supersoft compound on Sunday.
“We expected to be floating around the top five and we were one thousandth of a second off fifth,” said Ricciardo. “It’s a little frustrating but at least there were no major surprises.
“Qualifying on the soft tyres would have been ideal but the pace was really high and our lap time was close to the cut off. We were forced to use the Supersoft instead to be on the safe side getting into Q3.”
Had Ricciardo been able to get through Q2 on the Soft compound, he believed the team would have had a great chance of beating Scuderia Ferrari but feels the Supersoft start will make it much more difficult.
“If we had qualified on the soft tyre we could have had a good fight with Ferrari but that will be a little harder now we are on the Supersofts,” said Ricciardo.
“We knew Williams would be quick around here but with DRS and being strong on the brakes we can still pull off some moves. I think we can have good race pace and it would be nice if we can find an edge overnight but either way we can have some fun and challenge for top five.”