Daniel Ricciardo is optimistic that he can get something out of Sunday's German Grand Prixeven though he had to settle for 'best of the rest' honours in qualifying at Hockenheim.
The Australian won the Red Bull battle to claim third on the grid behind the pace-setting Mercedes duo, and was only three-tenths off Nico Rosberg's pole-winning time, an improvement over the gap that separated him from the Silver Arrows on day one. Although he admits that, in normal circumstances, he may not be able to challenge either of the cars ahead of him, Ricciardo nevertheless retains a positive outlook.
RESULTS: German Grand Prix – Qualifying results
“I think we got pretty close to be honest,” he said of his qualifying effort, “My first lap in Q3 was really good and I knew there probably wasn't that much more on the table with my second run. In the end, [I made] a couple of mistakes so [I was] maybe a tenth off the perfect lap - but not enough to challenge the pole.
“We're close enough - I said yesterday that, if we can be within half a second, that's not a bad day in qualifying. On low fuel yesterday, Mercedes had a pretty good buffer over everyone, but, on the long run pace, we looked to be closer which gave us some optimism. Today, obviously, we got a bit closer on one-lap pace than we were yesterday, so let's see if that translates into something for tomorrow.
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“To be able to put some pressure on them at some point in the race would be nice, but let's see.... You never know what can happen, and racetracks change day-to-day with temperature and whatever, but Red Bull locked out the second row and, hopefully, we can do something good.”
The Australian, who saw victory snatched away from him in Spain after the two Mercedes clashed and then came up short in Monaco two weeks later, will naturally wish for a similar mishap to befall the front row pair, but also knows that strategy could come into play as the teams followed varying programmes with their tyres.
“From what I understand, we might have different tyres available to us for the race so hopefully that makes a difference,” he confirmed, “There could be some different strategies among the first few cars so, hopefully it works out and, if it does, the fans will have a race on their hands!”
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