Differing Opinions for Renault Drivers after Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

by Paul Hensby

Daniel Ricciardo felt there was more time in his car in the final segment of Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, with the Australian ultimately ending slowest of the top ten qualifiers.

The Renault F1 Team racer was able to make it through to Q3 unlike team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, but Ricciardo felt the car had the potential to make it higher up the grid than he ultimately achieved after losing the rear of the car at turn thirteen when set for a faster lap.

Unfortunately, Ricciardo will drop three places on the grid to thirteenth after his penalty carried over from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is applied, but even then, he feels a points finish is a possibility, which would be only his second top ten appearance of the season should it happen.

“We did a pretty good job to get into Q3 today,” said Ricciardo, who’s only points finish of 2019 came at the Chinese Grand Prix last month.  “That was the target and I certainly felt after yesterday we had the potential to achieve that.

“We probably could have been slightly higher in the order for Q3 but I lost the rear out of Turn 13 on the second run and lost some time. That stopped it from being a really good session, but, in any case, it was a strong effort today.

“We have the penalty to add, but we’ll get our heads down in the race and look for points.”

Team-mate Hülkenberg was disappointed with his own performance after being eliminated from Qualifying at the first hurdle for a second consecutive weekend, with a mistake on his first run causing him to touch the wall and damage both his front wing and bargeboard.

This meant he was under much more pressure on his second run, but the German was unable to escape Q1, with Hülkenberg believing Q2 was his minimum requirement on Saturday.

“I’m quite disappointed with myself about that,” said Hülkenberg.  “I made a mistake on the first run, touched the wall slightly and we had to change the front wing and we also suffered bargeboard damage.

“If you make mistakes, you pay for them. We could have made Q2 at a minimum today. We’re lacking a bit of pace and harmony in the car at the moment.

“We’ll give it our best tomorrow and aim for a better result.”

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