Daniel Ricciardo felt he was unable to maximise his pace during the top ten shootout for the Tuscan Grand Prix after his Renault DP World F1 Team team-mate Esteban Ocon spun and brought out the yellow flags just in front of the Australian.
Ricciardo will start eighth on the grid at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello but felt he could have at least qualified fifth, the same position he made it through into Q3 with just one run.
This had left him with two new sets of soft tyres for Q3, but Ocon’s spin ruined his chances of improving on his banker lap, and he will start on the outside of row four on Sunday.
“We showed pretty good pace today, so it’s a shame not to maximise it,” said Ricciardo. “We’re still in a good position to score points for the race.
“I was happy with the session, especially with Q2, where I put in a good lap and saved two sets for Q3. My first run in Q3 wasn’t the best, I lost the rear and it was a bit messy and there was certainly more to come on the second set.
“Unfortunately, with Esteban’s spin and the yellow flag, I couldn’t improve my lap time. Looking at the result, there was potential for fifth with a clean lap. There will be a lot going on tomorrow and I think there will be a good battle for the top five and hopefully it’s a fun one.”
“We could have qualified a lot further up” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Ocon admitted he pushed too hard on his one and only flying lap during Q3 than caused the spin that disrupted not only Ricciardo but a number of other drivers on their flying laps, including, amongst others, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Valtteri Bottas.
The Frenchman will start tenth as a result of his spin but he knows he should have been much higher up the grid than that, but he knows points are only awarded on Sunday so he will be fighting to make gains in the race.
“Unfortunately, I lost the car on my Q3 run and couldn’t put in a lap time,” said Ocon. “It was one of those times when you push the limits more and more throughout the session and that one was just a bit over.
“It’s a shame as we showed good pace and we could have qualified a lot further up. The car was good today and the team did a really solid job, especially the step between FP3 and Qualifying.
“We’re in a position to score points tomorrow and I know we have the ability to grab some.”
“We can’t be totally content with the finishing positions” – Alan Permane
Alan Permane, the Sporting Director at Renault, reckoned but for Ocon’s spin that the team could have locked out the third row of the grid, but they will have to be satisfied with eighth and tenth.
Permane believes there may be an interesting race to come, particularly if the support races are anything to go by, and he hopes that both Ricciardo and Ocon can bring home big points for Renault at Mugello.
“We can be happy to have got two cars into Q3, particularly after our difficult morning today,” said Permane. “However, we can’t be totally content with the finishing positions.
“We justifiably showed that the car had more pace than that; we could have been fifth and sixth. We, nevertheless, have to be satisfied with eighth and tenth and see what we can do tomorrow.
“Watching the support races, it seems possible to overtake, so it could be an interesting race. Conditions look similar to today, so we hope to have another strong race and double points finish for the team.”