Daniel Ricciardo has flashed his inner Honey Badger following qualifying for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix, claiming he’ll be taking his anger at a pre-race penalty out on those in front of him on the grid.
Ricciardo was handed a three-place grid penalty for a red-flag infringement during practice for his home race. Having qualified fifth, behind his team-mate, Ricciardo will start 2018’s opening race in eighth.
“The session itself didn’t go too badly, it started off pretty well and even in Q2 on the Supersofts we were looking good,” said Ricciardo.
“I aborted the second run, but nonetheless we were looking alright. In the last part of Q3 we just missed a bit in the first sector, I’m not totally sure where the time is so we’ll have to look at that.
“Overall, the car didn’t feel too bad, we asked for a bit more front grip but we’d used all the front wing we had, so there was no more we could do in Q3.
“Obviously starting eighth because of the penalty is frustrating and I thought it was unjust. There are reprimands, fines and other things but to shoot me in the ankle before the season starts, well, I think they could have done better.”
Ricciardo will start tomorrow’s race on the SuperSoft tyres, a contrasting strategy to those around him with the exception of his team-mate Max Verstappen.
The Australian also says he’ll focus his anger about his grid penalty and channel it towards beating his competitors.
“We’re the only ones in the top 10 starting on the Supersoft so hopefully that helps us and ideally the leaders have trouble making the one stop work with the Ultrasoft and we capitalise there.
“It’s going to be pretty tricky to overtake so strategy will be key. The race pace looks pretty good and I’m looking forward to coming through the field.
“We’re obviously better than eighth so we will try and make it happen. To be honest, I feel sorry for the guys in front of me tomorrow as they’re the ones I’m going to have to take my anger out on.”