Daniel Ricciardo believes his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team were just “unlucky” in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix as the Australian qualified in eighth place.
The rain started at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps just as Q3 was getting underway and Red Bull were one of the first to head out on the intermediate tyres, a decision that proved to be the wrong one as conditions improved at the end of the session.
“Timing is difficult here and the weather is just so unpredictable,” said Ricciardo. “Once it started raining, we thought it would get heavier, but five minutes later it started to dry and by then we had used our tyres and fuel.
“As a team, we thought we were doing the right thing to get out on the Intermediate as quickly as possible while it was still not that wet, but at the end of the session the cars still on track had the best conditions.
“It was unlucky and in normal circumstances once it starts raining it usually gets worse and worse but today that just didn’t happen.”
Ricciardo knows how tough to predict the weather can be and feels at the time the team did the right thing.
“In hindsight, the strategy didn’t work but at the time it looked like the right thing to do,” he said. “Even if it’s raining in the pitlane here it could be 40 degrees at the other side of the track so we just missed out.”
The Australian struggled earlier on in qualifying and needed two runs to get through the first part of qualifying and is still searching for answers to find some more pace for the race.
I’ve struggled all weekend with speed and there are still some unknowns,” said Ricciardo. “In Q1 I had to put two sets of tyres on to get through, even though we weren’t expecting to be that quick around here, we shouldn’t be in that position and we will try and find some answers tonight before the race tomorrow.
“Even though we haven’t been that quick so far, tomorrow we can be more optimistic, even starting eighth. We are definitely better than that and we will try and charge through.
“I’m sure a few cars in front of us won’t be as strong on race pace so we will be moving forwards and not backwards.”