For the second race in a row Daniel Ricciardo failed to reach Q3, but the Australian believes he can still claim a “handful of points” from the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ricciardo had struggled to match his Renault F1 Team team-mate Nico Hulkenberg throughout the practice sessions in Bahrain. Come qualifying however, Hulkenberg fell out of the running in Q1 while Ricciardo managed to qualify eleventh.
Ricciardo’s lap time of 1:29.488 in Q2 was over two tenths-of-a-second shy of seeing him progress to the top-ten shootout but Renault’s new ace says each outing is delivering progress.
“Qualifying wasn’t perfect for us by any means, but it’s an improvement from where we’ve been so far this weekend,” said Ricciardo. “In the end we were closer to Q3 than we expected at the end of Friday.
“We’re there or thereabouts and we know we have things to work on. I’m still learning to master this car, but I’m getting there each time I step into it.”
For the race, Ricciardo points to tyre strategy as critical to scoring points under the floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit.
“We have a free choice of tyres for tomorrow’s race, which gives us some things to assess overnight on strategy. I’ll be aiming to get the most out of it, and taking a handful of points is certainly a possibility.”