RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Daniel Ricciardo admits it was frustrating to watch time ebb away from him during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix because of a top speed deficit to Ferrari and Mercedes, though he feels Red Bull has a stronger package for the race.
A winner last time out in Malaysia, Ricciardo has endured an indifferent Suzuka weekend thus far and would end qualifying with the sixth fastest time, though he will start fifth by virtue of Sebastian Vettel's grid penalty ahead.
Frustrated that Red Bull's impressive pace in the sweeping opening sector is being undone by the Renault-powered RB12's relative lack of straight line speed in sectors two and three, Ricciardo says he also felt down on power in Sepang but the disadvantage is more pronounced in Japan.
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“I was down on the straights,” he said. “I was losing straight line speed. It is not the first time, but there were signs of it last week. It had a bigger effect this week. It was just a bit frustrating. I felt I did all I could with the car in qualifying, but it looked like we lost a good little chunk, as least down the straights. I don't think it was enough to say we'd be ahead of Kimi, but it would have put us a lot closer to Seb.
“I hope it is more just a qualifying specification so that when you are just trying to push the engine to its limits, it just can't quite hang on to the end. I think when we run a bit more conservative for the race I hope that the deficit becomes less.”
Despite this, Ricciardo believes the deficits will even out in the race and is confident Red Bull still has a faster car than Ferrari over long runs.
“Ferrari was a little bit quicker than expected, they were solid. I don't know what race car they have but I think we have made a good compromise. It would be better to be second row but it won't change tomorrow. If we are quick then I think we will find our way through. I wish the race was now!”
WHERE & WHEN you can watch the Japanese Grand Prix
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