Daniel Ricciardo’s smile was even more beaming than usual after nailing down a P4 start in his Renault car at the Canadian Grand Prix.
With Kevin Magnussen’s late crash in Q2 erasing Max Verstappen from the top-1o shoot-out equation, Ricciardo then capitalised on scruffy Q3 sessions from both Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas to join Charles Leclerc on the second row for Sunday’s race.
Ricciardo was ecstatic after finding out he had reached such lofty heights and felt it was reward for showing good pace in his R.S.19 throughout the day.
“I never thought I’d be so happy for a fourth place in qualifying; it feels like a pole position!” Ricciardo said after his phenomenal effort in Q3.
“It was so cool when they told me over the radio I was fourth. I’m really happy for the team today. This track is fun, I’ve always enjoyed it here.
“We seemed quick from the start of the day. Even yesterday we were fast, but we made further improvements and managed to put it all together for qualifying.
“We’ll see about tomorrow, the start could be interesting. For now, we’ll enjoy this moment as a fourth in qualifying is huge for us.”
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Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg couldn’t quite match Ricciardo, but is still pretty content with a P7 start.
He added: “I can’t be too unhappy about that as my lap wasn’t bad, but I maybe left a tenth on the table.
“It’s my best qualifying of the season and we’re in a good position for tomorrow. Daniel pulled out a great lap and the overall team result today is excellent.
“The team has worked really hard – especially on the power unit – which has made a big step from last year. We, quite clearly, confirmed that progress today. Our race pace has looked good recently, so hopefully a strong result is on the cards tomorrow.”
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