Daniel Ricciardo ‘puzzled’ by Yuki Tsunoda performance

It's the first time Daniel Ricciardo went out in Q1 at this home race in Australia

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Daniel Ricciardo was humble towards Yuki Tsunoda after qualifying for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix as he admitted he simply could not get an extra seven tenths out of the car like the Japanese driver did in the later parts of the session.

Ricciardo initially went 10th as the chequered flag fell in the first stage of qualifying only to lose his lap time for running extremely wide at Turn 4 and violating track limits rules, resulting in a lap time deletion.

That dropped him from a sure place in Q2 to 18th and on the back row next to Zhou Guanyu, whilst Tsunoda kept his lap clean to progress through into Q2 with a 1:17.356 before he then got into Q3 to qualify eighth overall, leaving Ricciardo mystified.

“The lap itself, I was happy with from my side,” Ricciardo said to media after qualifying at the Albert Park Circuit. “I felt like I got everything out of it and then when I saw it still wasn’t good enough, let’s say compared to Yuki, that for me is, yeah… I’m still a bit still a bit puzzled.

“Because I know what those laps normally mean and I was across the line being like, ‘Yeah, that was a good one’, and those ones are normally enough, more than enough and it’s still not.

“But then looking at the times he’s doing in Q2, I can tell you now I can’t get seven more tenths out of it than what I got in Q1. I’m sure there’s a bit of track evolution but honestly, I think there’s still some things we got to look at, because it’s definitely been a struggle so far.”

Ricciardo knew track limits error

Ricciardo admitted he was aware that he ran wide at Turn 4 at the time but that because of how quickly Formula 1 cars are, he didn’t have time to think about it before he focused on the next corner and forgot about it.

Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during practice ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during practice ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

That was until Pierre Hamelin, his race engineer, told him that he was out, leaving the Australian to deal with his first ever Q1 elimination around his home grand prix.

He may also need to worry about Helmut Marko too as the Red Bull advisor has already warned him to up his game, and qualifying 18th in a car good enough for eighth isn’t how he needs to go about doing that.

“I knew at the time turn four I was fighting it [the car],” Ricciardo added. “And I remember taking more curve than I usually do, so I knew I was wider than normal.

“But it’s funny you do it and then already after turn five, I’ve forgotten about it. So, I did the lap and then eventually when Pierre [Hamelin, race engineer) told me I’d forgot all about it. So, I think it took a while for it to sink in.”

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