Ricciardo takes unlucky P13 on the chin

Date published: August 15 2020 - Jon Wilde

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo referred to Renault’s disappointing qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix as one the team would have to “take on the chin”.

The Australian has been producing excellent pace in free practice at the last couple of races and also qualified in P5 for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

But that promise was invisible on Saturday afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya, where Ricciardo found himself bagging only a P13 grid slot for the race. His team-mate Esteban Ocon claimed P15 after his car had to be rebuilt following a crash in FP3.

In fairness to Ricciardo, he was only 0.032sec from reaching Q3.

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“13th is 13th but we were so close today,” said Ricciardo. “It’s one of those where literally getting on the throttle a tiny bit earlier would be the difference. Then we would be in Q3 and looking obviously a lot better.

“It’s one of those that we have to take on the chin. It makes life a bit harder tomorrow but we’ll do what we can.

“It’s a shame. I don’t think we went backwards today or messed up, I think the others just found a good chunk. Obviously we didn’t, so we need to understand why. The car wasn’t a mess, wasn’t a handful, we just didn’t have that extra tenth.”

Ocon’s participation in qualifying had been in doubt until confirmation arrived just minutes before the start of the session that his team had managed to put the car back together.

In FP3, he had closed on Kevin Magnussen and, seemingly undecided on how to avoid the Haas, succeeded only in steering right and spinning the Renault into the wall.

Paying tribute to his mechanics, the Frenchman said: “It’s been fantastic, on a very positive note we can keep that one as a fantastic job by the guys to turn the car around, put it back together and not miss any running. It’s been fantastic on that side so really, really well done.

“A bit more negative, we didn’t have the pace to go into Q3. There’s still a difference between the cars that we need to review since Silverstone 2, so we need to touch that point. Clearly at the moment I’m a bit struggling.”

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