Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull Racing always planned to start the Singapore Grand Prix on the supersoft tyres and admits they were surprised no one else also opted to go for the same strategy.
Ricciardo will line-up on the front row on Sunday, alongside pole sitter, Nico Rosberg, although the German will be on the ultrasoft tyres, along with the rest of those that made it into the top-ten shootout - excluding the other Red Bull of Max Verstappen. It means both Red Bulls should be able to run longer in the early stages and that might give them a strategic edge.
“We qualified on the supersoft for Q2 so we will start the race on that tyre, which we feel is a good thing. Let's see if it makes a difference tomorrow,” Ricciardo said.
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX – Qualifying results
“It was always the plan [to do that], even before the weekend,” he continued. “We expected other teams to do it as well. So I would say we are a bit surprised we are the only ones. But yeah it was always the plan.
“Obviously we have to pick the tyres a long way before the race and I don't know if it was the case, for example, that Mercedes and Ferrari didn't have enough supersoft tyres to perhaps qualify on them, but let's see tomorrow.
“It is a bit like Monaco. Obviously we did that [there] thinking it would be the right thing and we didn't get a chance to see it with the wet start. But tomorrow I think it is going to be dry here so we will get a chance to see if it works.”
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Meanwhile, Ricciardo added that he was “pleased enough” with his final lap in Q3 with a super final sector enough to vault him up to second and split the Mercedes'.
“The aim was to try and be on the front row. We knew it would be hard to try and get in front of Mercedes, but yeah, it was nice to at least get one," he added.
“We made improvements for qualifying and through practice we were still trying to find some stuff with the car and it finally came good. In qualifying it got better and the rhythm throughout the session was good.
"And, yeah the last lap in Q3, it was clean – it probably wasn't as good as Nico's [pole lap] – but as I said it was clean and good enough for the front row.”
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