Daniel Ricciardo has lashed out at his critics, telling them to show patience after he qualified best-of-the-rest P7 for the Chinese GP.
The Aussie has been off the pace of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg since joining Renault for 2019, while also suffering retirements in both the Australian and Bahrain GP’s.
The 29-year-old marked his first Q3 appearance of the season in China, claiming P7 and outpacing Hulkenberg by a mere 0.004s.
After a tough start to life with the French manufacturer, Ricciardo is seemingly turning the tide at the track where he took victory last season, and reminded people to show some patience.
“It’s only the third race. I think some people are thinking we’ve had half a season already. It hasn’t been that long,” Ricciardo told reporters when asked whether the early season criticism directed at him is fair.
“I haven’t done anything that makes me forget how to drive. I know it’s been a long time since I was on a podium, but I still remember what to do. [People] just need a bit of patience.
“In football, for example, one guy gets a hat-rick and the next two games doesn’t score a goal. It’s like ‘what happened?’. One week ago he was the king of the show.
“When you’re at the top level in any sport, people always have the expectation that you should be at the top every single day. For a lot of people, it’s short term [memory].”
🎙 “This midfield battle is so tight and your weekend can change within one or two tenths of a second, so it’s pleasing to be at the head of that midfield battle.”
Daniel content with his quali 👇
Full report 👉 https://t.co/7J5JLsDYlS#RSspirit #ChineseGP #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/L9mjOheU99
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) April 13, 2019
“This weekend as a whole has been a bit smoother. Yesterday morning, in first practice, I felt more comfortable,” he explained.
“I’m not surprised [with the qualifying result] because yesterday I was already in that direction.
“On paper, we’re at the front end of our group. The three teams in front of us do have faster cars at the moment, so if everyone has their best race, realistically seventh is probably our best result we can ask for.
“If both cars finish seventh and eighth tomorrow, we’re probably not popping champagne bottles, but I think we’re going to be pretty pleased.”
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