Daniel Ricciardo admits he ‘couldn’t extract much more’ despite Q1 exit

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo smiles in the press conference. Spa August 2022.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo smiles while being asked questions. Spa August 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo suffered an early exit from qualifying in Singapore, but admitted he could not get much more from his car in drying conditions.

The McLaren driver went out in Q1 after going just 17th fastest on Saturday, while team-mate Lando Norris placed his car on the third row for Sunday’s race, taking P6 in tricky conditions around Marina Bay.

Ricciardo admitted on Friday that his practice sessions were far from ideal, but still harboured hopes of making it into Q3 himself.

But with the conditions having changed between FP3 and qualifying, he said that it was tough for him to get what he wanted out of his car.

“Yesterday was certainly a struggle, no denying that, so we made a lot of changes overnight,” Ricciardo said to the official Formula 1 website.

“Obviously very different conditions today but getting out into P3 I felt actually we were in a more reasonable spot.

“I felt like we were good enough to fight for the top 10 or thereabouts. So back in a respectable spot, let’s say.

“So then we basically just sent it for qualifying and obviously the track dried a bit, but otherwise not really much else.

“And just in those conditions, especially as the track dried more and more, I could just feel it that we couldn’t extract much more lap time.

“Obviously Q1 [exit] is disappointing but I’m personally more disappointed that it was quite different to a couple hours ago and couldn’t quite get what I wanted out of it.”

It was a similar up-and-down day for Constructors’ rivals Alpine, with Fernando Alonso joining Norris on row three while Esteban Ocon was also knocked out at the first hurdle, and will line up alongside Ricciardo on the ninth row.

While a points finish now looks unlikely for Ricciardo, he hopes to have seen the back of the wet-dry running from Saturday – wanting a degree of certainty around the weather so he can work around it on Sunday, particularly after having a tough time of things in Friday practice.

“From yesterday, we changed a lot so if it’s dry tomorrow, then hopefully it works because we still don’t really know in these conditions,” he explained.

“But I mean, to be honest, it couldn’t have got worse than yesterday. So I’m optimistic that tomorrow’s setup is better than Friday’s.

“But I think, for my wish, I would either want full dry or full wet – but when it’s that in between, I think like it was obviously in Q1, that’s where we didn’t have much to show.”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc qualified fastest on Saturday, with World Championship leader Max Verstappen onlyP8 after having to abort his final timed lap due to a lack of fuel.

Read more: Winners and losers from Singapore Grand Prix qualifying