Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo felt confused by the qualifying performance of the car today at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. He and team-mate Max Verstappen qualified fourth and fifth, but Ricciardo will start from fourteenth on the grid after he received engine penalties.
Ricciardo felt happy with his run on the soft set of tyres in Q3, but on changing to Supersofts, he said that he felt vibrations in the car, something he felt hindered what he had to work with through the latter stages of qualifying.
He also noted the recent change in form for the team, who seem to get their best performances in the Friday practices and then struggle to match Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari, who often are able to ‘turn their engines up’ in order to extract an extra small margin of performance over Red Bull.
“A kind of a mysterious Saturday really,” commented Ricciardo. “Normally, in past years, Fridays were never good for us and we then improved in Qualifying. Lately, Fridays have been pretty comfortable but then on Saturday we often lose out.
I think we were better on the soft tyre in Qualifying today but I’m sure something was up with the last set of Supersofts I had in Q3 as I had vibrations as soon as I left the pits. That was a bit frustrating because I didn’t really feel I could work with too much out there. We start on the Softs so hopefully that helps us tomorrow.
I’ve got to try and charge through the field and I think we’ll have a good race car. Lewis [Hamilton] is starting behind me so we’ll see; if Mercedes is as quick as they have been all weekend I might see if we can get a bumper on the front of Lewis’ car and he can push me up the field.”