Daniel Ricciardo has one eye on the sky leading up to tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix, and another on the cars behind, as he prepares to start from fourth place on the grid.
The Red Bull Racing driver went fifth quickest in Q3 earlier today, but was bumped up to fourth thanks to a gearbox penalty for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Between Hamilton looking to climb up from the midfield, and the potential for inclement weather, Ricciardo suggests these variables will influence his own race result.
“I believe there is a bit of rain coming tomorrow at noon so it should be interesting and not that straight forward,” he said. “Lewis will try to come up the ranks as well so it will be exciting.”
Qualifying saw plenty of driver mistakes, including his team-mate Max Verstappen causing a yellow flag during Q3 when he spun into the gravel at Turn 7 with only seconds to go. Ricciardo wants to ensure he doesn’t follow suit on Sunday afternoon, but will need to keep a check on his enthusiasm to do so.
“It’s a bit tricky out there,” continued the Australian. “This year the track has a lot of grip on it and that kind of makes it harder. You feel you can push more but it’s easy to go over the limit because we carry so much corner speed. We all obviously love going fast and want more and more, so we end up getting greedy and then mistakes happen, but that makes it exciting.”
Summing up his Saturday, he felt – like many other drivers – that the late yellow flags had caused qualifying to fizzle out at the end.
“Of course it would have been nice to finish that last lap but in the end I’m happy with the top five and we’ll move up to fourth because of Lewis’ penalty. All in all it was a pretty good session and I’m relatively happy.”