Ricciardo helpless after tough qualifying


Those used to the infectious laugh, the rows of pearly whites and off the wall sense of humour were in for a surprise after qualifying.

Indeed, with appropriate music and a professional voiceover, Daniel Ricciardo's analysis might have come across like one of those numerous charity TV appeals, albeit for confused, annoyed and helpless F1 drivers.

Despite having been strong all weekend, and heading the timesheets on Friday afternoon, a lack of grip when it really mattered left the popular Australian struggling. And while teammate Mas Verstappen missed out on pole by just 0.086, Ricciardo was 0.959s adrift.

"I topped practice yesterday, and having the same settings this morning, we were pretty much on P1 pace," said a clearly dejected Ricciardo. "We haven't touched the car from yesterday to today, up to qualifying, and from the start of the session it was just nowhere.

"We tried doing two warm-up laps, one warm-up lap," he revealed. "But it seemed like whatever grip I had when I left the box, I had for the session. We played around a bit with front wing, but the car was numb to anything in qualifying. In the end we couldn't do anything, I was pretty helpless. We need to understand why. We're seventh when we've been fighting towards the front all weekend.

"If we get back to the car we had, I think we can still race up to the podium tomorrow," he insisted. "But qualifying was, what's a word without swearing? We were very confused... annoyed... helpless.

"Sometimes you get one set of tyres that you can't turn on or warm up properly and you might lose some time, but every run it seemed to be the same story," he sighed. "This morning the track was really cold and we were still able to post a time on the first lap, so it should have been a breeze to get the tyres up to temperature this afternoon. We really need to understand what happened in the last hour.

"The adrenaline is slowly coming down now," he admitted. "I wasn't, for sure angry, just helpless, helpless in that qualifying."

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Published: 29/10/2017
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