Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his frustration at being denied the opportunity to challenge for pole position in the Hungarian Grand Prix, even if he is confident Red Bull can challenge Mercedes for the win.
In an eventful qualifying session characterised by initially treacherous conditions and four red flags in Q1 alone, Ricciardo nonetheless felt he had the package to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg only to fluff his first run when he almost lost control on the still-slippery final corner kerb.
F1 RESULTS: Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Results
Still quick enough for third with that compromised effort, Ricciardo was targeting a run on pole position with his final run, only to be thwarted by a yellow flag for the spun Fernando Alonso.
With Rosberg going on to lead a Mercedes 1-2, Ricciardo says he is disappointed to miss out on his opportunity through no fault of his own.
“I was pretty angry on that last lap, because I was up a bit and I think it would have put me closer to pole. It would have been interesting without the yellow, so I'm a little bit disappointed, because it's a maybe what could have been.
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“At the same time I think the session went really well. I think in all conditions we were competitive. It was crazy. You had to adapt quickly – when to go on the slicks in Q2 and even just little things: getting out of pit lane on the slick tyre when it was so wet, yeah it was sideways coming into turn one.
“It was fun, it was challenging. On the last corner, I think it was in Q3. There was still a little bit of a wet patch just next to the kerb and it sort of just sucked me in as I opened DRS as well, so I was in for a little bit of a ride but in the end I survived.”
Despite the setback, Ricciardo nonetheless feels he has a shot at victory around the Hungaroring in the more competitive RB12 having performed well in 2014 and 2015.
“We've more or less fought for it the last two years and I think we're even closer this year than we have been in the past, in terms of pure pace. We're getting stronger and we were close today and in all conditions we weren't too far off pole.
“Tomorrow should be interesting. As always the Mercs have had good long run pace, we've seen [that] in free practice, but we'll be there and obviously we start close enough to the front to make a fight of it and so hopefully it's an exciting race.”
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