Daniel Ricciardo reckons sixth place is a good starting position for him in Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix, with the Australian continuing to dominate team-mate Esteban Ocon on Saturday afternoon’s in 2020.
The Renault DP World F1 Team qualified sixth and seventh at the Nürburgring but for the tenth time in eleven races this season, Ricciardo had the edge over his team-mate.
Ricciardo says that from sixth he can fight for good points on Sunday, although with the shortened weekend, he is unsure to how the tyres will hold up, particularly the soft compound on which he will start the race.
“I’m happy enough with today’s qualifying and sixth is a good starting position for us,” said Ricciardo. “It was a fun Saturday with a packed practice session and then a hectic qualifying.
“Everyone was on track at a similar time, so it was quite enjoyable. It’s not the best preparation, but we know the car well enough and we’ll figure it out for tomorrow.
“We know it will be close in the race, but I’m excited and I think we can be up there and aim for a top six finish. We’ll see how the Soft holds up as it looks like it could be susceptible to graining. If it’s dry or wet, it should be an interesting race and sixth isn’t a bad place to be on the grid.”
“We’re jumping into the unknown tomorrow” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Ocon will start seventh after qualifying just 0.019 seconds behind Ricciardo, and much like the Australian, he was happy with the performance of the R.S.20 on Saturday.
Unlike any other race weekend, however, Ocon will have many unknowns to deal with during Sunday’s race, with the Frenchman having only ran the soft compound of Pirelli tyre so far this weekend. He has not taken to the track on either the medium or hard compound, so will learn how they work on Sunday afternoon.
“It was a good qualifying for us today, especially after just one practice session,” said Ocon. “I’m happy with seventh.
“We had very limited knowledge on the track after not driving yesterday and just the one session today. We put the car into qualifying and it performed really well from Q1, and I’m pleased with that.
“We’re jumping into the unknown tomorrow as I only drove the Softs in practice and qualifying today. We’ll see how the tyres handle in the race and how long they last. We’ll see how it goes but we’re in a good position to score some good points for the championship.”
“It’s been a positive start to this shortened weekend” – Alan Permane
Alan Permane, the Sporting Director at Renault, was happy to see Ricciardo and Ocon qualify strongly at the Nürburgring, and their positions on the grid gives them hope of a strong result on Sunday.
Permane says the team will have one eye on the weather on Sunday but come rain or shine, he is hoping Renault can have a good race and bring home some much needed points to aid their fight for third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We’re happy with that qualifying result,” said Permane. “Sixth and seventh, ahead of our immediate championship rivals, gives us a very strong basis for the race.
“It’s been an unusual weekend so far, with an amended programme today following the lack of running yesterday. We did some tyre work in FP3 and we will of course be keeping one eye on the weather, even though we are expecting it to be a dry day.
“Overall, it’s been a positive start to this shortened weekend and are looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”