11 April 2015
F1 Chinese Grand Prix: ‘Nothing more'’ as Ricciardo goes P7
Daniel Ricciardo gave it everything to boost Red Bull's qualifying position for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix, but still has Williams in his sights for Sunday.
Daniel Ricciardo felt that he got everything out of his Red Bull-Renault combination in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix despite ending up on row four of the grid.
The Australian dismissed concerns over both his engine package and, more tellingly this weekend, his brakes as, having been third in FP2 on Friday, he fell in between Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari and Romain Grosjean's Lotus in the final qualifying order.
“I was happy with the lap,” he stressed, “It was a good lap and there wasn't anything more I felt I could have done. I guess Mercedes and Ferrari are putting in a bit more juice on Saturday. I guess they've got a bit more juice available as well…”
Having targeted Williams as possible prey in the qualifying session, Ricciardo was disappointed to find himself behind both fourth-placed Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who lines up one place behind the Brazilian. However, he feels that the Grove team is still within reach when it comes to competing for points on Sunday afternoon.
“We obviously would have hoped for a top five, but I think Williams, as well, always come on strong on Saturdays, so there's not much more we could have done,” the Aussie lamented, “That's what it is on one-lap pace, but our race pace should look better – at least compared to the Williams. I think we can challenge them tomorrow.
Happier with the driveability of the Renault V6 compared to the opening rounds, and satisfied with a revised aero package that means the car is much better balanced through the high-speed sections, Ricciardo was asked whether problems with brakes were now the main concern after team-mate Daniil Kvyat's off on Friday and further problems in FP3.
“From my side, I'm happy with what we've got,” the three-time race winner insisted, “It's what we had the whole of last year, so no concerns. I think [Kvyat] trouble was a problem after he did the pit-stop [in FP2] and I don't think it was an issue related to the brakes themselves, so that's not a concern.”
Reverting to last year's brake set-up has given Ricciardo, at least, the consistency that he felt was lacking in both Melbourne and Malaysia.
“To be honest, in feeling and performance, I think it's pretty similar,” he explained, “Consistency is what we were after, and I think we've got that back now. We obviously tried a few different materials for the first couple of races, but there was too much variation as the race went on. Malaysia was pretty extreme but, even in Melbourne, on one lap they seemed pretty good but then they were not holding up as well. What I think we've got now is at least more consistent.”
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