Daniel Ricciardo explains mistake that ruined Brazilian GP qualifying

The Australian failed to repeat his stellar form in Mexico in Sao Paolo.

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Daniel Ricciardo feels a simple mistake in Turn 2 was the difference between him advancing into the second part of Qualifying for the Brazilian GP, after an early exit.

After a stellar Mexico City Grand Prix, where Ricciardo finished seventh, the Australian had a tricky start to his weekend at Interlagos, only managing 14th in the sole practice session ahead of qualifying.

Despite a set-up change helping AlphaTauri’s pace, Ricciardo lost a spot in Q2 after making a mistake in the Senna S on his final run, relegating him to 17th on the grid for the grand prix.

“The first run was strong, and I think we were a lot faster than the overall time showed,” Ricciardo told F1TV after the session. “Just that last lap, I nearly had a spin into Turn 2.

“Came in a bit hot into Turn 1. I probably didn’t get the tyres in the right spot for the beginning of the lap, and then we lost a chunk [of time] in the first sector and then little bits into Turn 6. 

“But yeah, I’ll have a look. [It’s] just frustrating because we were definitely faster than that just a few things didn’t quite work out.”

Faster pace bodes well

Although he will have plenty of work to do in Sunday’s race, Ricciardo was encouraged by AlphaTauri’s speed during the session, after his first lap was good enough to be in the top six.

With Saturday being dedicated to the Sprint, a good Sprint Shootout could put Ricciardo in contention to secure a top-eight finish, guaranteeing the 34-year-old points regardless of how his race unfolds.

Currently, AlphaTauri is locked in a tight battle with Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas for seventh place in the constructors’ championship, with the four teams separated by 16 points with three races left to go.

“This morning, we struggled, but we changed the car quite a bit for qualifying, and as I mentioned, our first run was P5-or P6 at the time”, added Ricciardo.

“So we were looking in with a chance of advancing into Q2, potentially Q3, but yeah, just that last lap [I was} just frustrated with that.

“But on the other hand, happy with the improvements I found in the car compared to the morning.”

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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