Daniel Ricciardo was not impressed with what he saw from Renault’s one-lap pace in Spain but is still holding out hope of reaching Q3 on Saturday.
Ricciardo is already facing a tumble down the order after picking up a three-place grid penalty for his reverse crash into Daniil Kvyat at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
And he could be toward the back of the grid if he is unable to improve on the P15 he managed in FP2 following his qualifying simulation run.
“I think the one lap performance today wasn’t good enough. The long runs were more competitive, and I think [our rivals] looked relatively quite a lot stronger in the short runs,” Ricciardo told reporters in Barcelona.
“The first run this morning actually, I felt pretty good with the car, and I felt like the updates worked quite well. Then we hit a little bit of stalemate I guess and we didn’t really progress that much more through the day.
“I think we’ve got to go back and see what we change from the first run, and take a few steps back and figure it out.
“I certainly felt some positives today, even though the end result doesn’t look like that.
“The car is certainly better in areas. We’ve just got to make sure we put it together on one lap in particular tomorrow. That’s where we struggled today with the qualifying type of sim.”
He added: “I think we can still be in Q3. I think we were 15th today, so we’re not close today, but I really think the car is good enough to be in Q3.
“I’m still confident we can get it right for tomorrow.”
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