Daniel Ricciardo revealed his annoyance that he came into qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix with a large number of grid penalties following engine and gearbox changes, especially after driving superbly to finish third in tricky conditions on Saturday.
The Red Bull Racing driver may have ended up 1.287 seconds off the pace of Lewis Hamilton at the front of the field, but he was only 0.139 seconds back on team-mate and supposedly wet-weather specialist Max Verstappen, and by finishing third fastest, it means he starts eighteenth on the grid rather than the expected nineteenth.
Ricciardo does not expect to finish where he starts on Sunday, and he is looking forward to having some fun as he works his way through the field.
“It is, of course, annoying about those penalties here,” said Ricciardo. “It would have been nice to start up front especially with some different names up that end and not the usual suspects.
“It would have been a chance to probably stay in the front for longer but at least I put a good effort into Qualifying and that put me up to eighteenth for the race instead of nineteenth. In the end I gained one position for doing a good job and I’ll take that.
“I didn’t really enjoy Q1 and Q2. Not because of the conditions, we were just slow as I struggled for grip and felt I was a bit like a passenger. As soon as we started Q3, I felt straight away that there was some grip that I didn’t have in the first two sessions.
“I still feel we left a bit on the table but generally it was a good recovery so I’m happy. I will enjoy tomorrow’s race thoroughly and have some fun. Eighteenth is far down the back so I don’t expect to finish there.”