Daniel Ricciardo looked to be on for a high starting position. He had been strong all weekend, setting second and third in Friday’s practice sessions.
In Q2 during qualifying, Ricciardo was able to finish the session in first place, the first time any driver not in a Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team car has been able to do that all year.
The Australian driver will start tomorrow in fifth and is on the lookout for a fun race.
Ricciardo said: “Overall, I’m happy with fifth position for tomorrow. I knew we weren’t in contention for pole position, but after the Q2 lap it felt like third or fourth was in reach. That lap in Q2 was perfect, so I knew it was going to be hard to improve on that.
“I did struggle a little more in Q3 and probably could have improved my time, but I am happy with where we ended up. I haven’t normally been strong at this circuit so to be quick all weekend is a positive. We can definitely race tomorrow so it should be fun.”
Esteban Ocon was out-qualified by him team-mate yet again and will be starting the race tomorrow in seventh.
Although he is behind his team-mate, he still thinks seventh is a really good result for him and thinks anything is possible come tomorrow race.
“I think it’s a very decent result today. We’ve shown great pace this weekend and it’s definitely been strong with the car performing quite well. On my side, I’m happy with the result and the car was really good through all three sessions.” Said Ocon.
“All in all, we’re in the fight for tomorrow, so that’s very positive. It’s great to be starting where we are, and we can have a look at the cars in front. We’re going to be in the mix to fight, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow. I think anything is possible and we are in good shape to race.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director, said it is nice to feel disappointed with fifth as he feels like Ricciardo could have done better if he was able to replicate his Q2 lap.
Permane said “It was a good qualifying for us with Daniel fifth and Esteban seventh. It was action-packed through the field and across all three sessions. It’s nice to feel disappointed with fifth as, arguably, we could have been fourth with Daniel had he repeated his lap from Q2.
“That was almost a perfect lap and he couldn’t quite get there in Q3. We’re in good shape for tomorrow with both cars well inside the top ten. We’ll be looking for a very good points haul and to continue our decent form in races.”