Crash.Net F1 News
Ricciardo targets top-ten
23 March 2013
Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo has set his sights on moving up the order and breaking into the points in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo qualified 13th at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday and while he conceded the rain had probably helped them, he still felt they probably could have done a bit better.
His thoughts now turn to race day though, and the Aussie is determined to open his account for the F1 2013 season after exhaust issues put him out in Melbourne last weekend.
“Coming into qualifying today, if I'd been told I could sign on the dotted line for thirteenth, I'd have taken it,” Ricciardo admitted. “It's a decent result and we haven't been that far up the time sheets all weekend in practice.
“Looking at it that way, thirteenth is quite good, but in Q1, we were quite competitive and only one hundredth of a second from the top ten. With the rain coming, maybe we missed an opportunity to do better.
“We have improved but I still want more. Tomorrow, I plan to move up the order in what could be an unpredictable race. I really want to be in the top ten and get some points on the board early in the season.”
Team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne meanwhile was eliminated in the dry Q1 and finished just on the wrong side of the cusp in 17th. He blamed traffic for his failure to progress.
“I don't know how much better I could have done, but it's never nice to be out at the end of Q1. I was held up in the final sector by another car and lost between four and five tenths and that cost me the chance of getting to Q2,” he said.
“If we want to find positives, then at least I have saved a set of new tyres for the race, which could be important as this track is very hard on tyres.
“Being behind my team-mate? It means nothing today and the important thing is to be in front tomorrow! As usual, I am still being optimistic about tomorrow and hope to go after some points.
"Anything can happen in this race and in free practice we saw we had a good pace on a long run, which is encouraging.”