Daniel Ricciardo lamented the fact that a “mystery” issue with the setup changes overnight saw him regress in terms of performance.
The Australian was optimistic heading into quali but that optimism could only amount to P15, made all the worse by Yuki Tsunoda’s high finish of sixth.
As to what caused such a difference, Ricciardo believes it was a setup change made overnight that made things worse.
Daniel Ricciardo given things to ponder after quali performance
“The moment the car hit the track today, we were slow,” he told media including PlanetF1.com “It was honestly a bit strange.
“We did a bit of fine tuning last night but we were quite optimistic yesterday with the new floor and a few positives we found from that. I think it was just trying to just put it all together.
“FP3 we struggled and then so we went back for qualifying to have the car from yesterday but honestly it was still the same story and even with a new set [of tyres] in Q2 we didn’t we didn’t improve the lap time from Q1.”
There was clearly pace in the AlphaTauri car given Tsunoda’s performance but Ricciardo was dismayed to see his team-mate “progress’ while he regressed.
“Nothing fundamentally felt off,” he suggested. “There were a few corners where you were fighting a little bit but honestly I just felt like we just didn’t have the speed today and for now, that is a little bit of a mystery.
“After yesterday, I felt like it was getting into a good place and obviously I’m saying that but where I see Yuki finished, that’s how I felt coming into today.
“I definitely felt like we were going to be a Q3 car and obviously it’s never guaranteed as I stand here, but we were certainly confident.
“So obviously he [Tsunoda] made progress today, we regressed. We got worse. We didn’t really experiment with anything crazy.
“So for now a bit of a mystery, we’ll try to figure it out for tomorrow.”