Daniel Ricciardo ‘disappointed’ with F1 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

After topping the timing sheets in the first practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo started to believe that a spot in Q3 was on offer in Friday’s qualifying session.

However, when the dust settled on Friday night at Bahrain International Circuit, Ricciardo and teammate Yuki Tsunoda were on the outside looking in when Q3 began. Ricciardo finished the day in P14, with Tsunoda up in P11.

That result left Ricciardo “disappointed” after the promise and potential the team showed on Thursday.

“I’m not too happy with my performance tonight and a bit disappointed, to be honest. I think the weekend was going steadily and we were feeling fairly confident coming into qualifying. In the end, I never felt completely comfortable and felt like there was something I was struggling with during the lap, and therefore, didn’t cross the line feeling like I’d done a good job,” said Ricciardo in the team’s post-qualifying report.

Yet he was buoyed by what he saw from his teammate.

“As for our car and pace, as you see where Yuki is, that’s where we expected to be. Tonight was the least comfortable I felt so far this weekend, but going into the race, the approach to the track and car is different, and I’ve got more confidence going into tomorrow,” added Ricciardo. “I think there’s still a chance for points.”

As you might expect, Tsunoda took a more optimistic approach.

“It’s a shame we missed out on Q3 by that little, but I’m happy with my performance. We struggled a lot yesterday, especially in FP2, but the team did a fantastic job of turning things around overnight, and the car felt good today,” said Tsunoda. “We’re still in the process of understanding our car properly, but we’re improving in each session, so we’re happy with the progress. I think we maximised our package today, but the race is where points are scored, so we’ll focus on tomorrow and do it again. The car is in a good place in the long run, so I’m feeling confident and excited to race again!”

Alan Permane, the team’s Sporting Director, summarized the day as well. For Permane, it was a “solid” day, and the team is certainly in the fight.

“It’s been a solid first qualifying session of the season for us. We were aiming for the top of the midfield and that’s exactly what we achieved with Yuki in P11, and Daniel extremely close to him. Today has been the result of a good reaction from the whole team after the tough FP2 session yesterday,” added Permane. “We expect tomorrow to bring a very close race which is always tricky with high [tire] degradation. We are looking forward to seeing where we stand on both our race pace and [tire] management and will be pushing to move both cars forward.”

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