‘Conventional plan’ leaves Daniel Ricciardo in a ‘shitty place’

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo gets comfortable in the cockpit of his AlphaTauri.

Daniel Ricciardo was left to rue his “shitty place” on the Brazilian Grand Prix grid after AlphaTauri went for the “conventional” two sets of tyres in qualifying and fell short.

One week after his fourth place in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, Ricciardo suffered a Q1 exit at the Interlagos circuit in a closely contested qualifying session.

Q1 saw positions six to 17th separated by a mere three-tenths of a second with Ricciardo finding himself on the wrong end of the timesheet.

Daniel Ricciardo fell short of a Q2 berth by 0.05s

In a qualifying session in which several drivers pointed out that their soft tyres had just one flying lap in them, several drivers opted to use three new sets in a bid to get out of Q1.

AlphaTauri, though, stuck with the traditional two sets with Ricciardo saying he believed they had the pace to progress.

However, when all was said and done, he was 0.05s shy of Pierre Gasly’s P15 time.

“We knew where the lap time was after looking at the set-up,” the Honey Badger told Speedcafe. “On the first run, I was really happy with the step we had made, and I was top-five or top-six for a little bit there.

“A few cars that didn’t do as good a first lap then went for three sets (of tyres) but I was quite confident we had the pace, so we stuck to a conventional plan.

“The last lap, though, was just a bad lap, to be honest. The out-lap was a bit slower, and I probably should have known, so just coming into Turn 1, I probably tried to get a little bit too much out of it.

“I went wide through One, and then I had quite a nice tank-slapper in Two – I say nice, it wasn’t fun – and from there the lap time just started to drop away. I definitely left a lot of time on the table.

“Turn Six, I felt like one of the Ferraris could have probably let me go before then, so (I lost) a little bit there, but probably from Turn One and Two the lap was already gone.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2023: Head-to-head qualifying and race stats between team-mates

All the mid-season driver swaps Red Bull have made in their F1 history

The eight-time Grand Prix winner’s disappointment was compounded as he felt AlpahTauri had felt the car was better than it had been in practice.

“That’s where I’m obviously pretty disappointed with the lap,” he added. “But I think the actual step we made from practice was a lot more encouraging.

“This morning we were quite a bit off, so I think we got the car back to a good place.

“On one hand, I’m happier going into the weekend with a better car but obviously P17 is a pretty shitty place to start.”

Read next: Winners and losers from the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying