RESULTS: Mexican Grand Prix - Qualifying results
Daniel Ricciardo says he was confused to end up as high as the second row of the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix with what he termed as a 'terrible lap' in qualifying.
With the low grip Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and the tricky super-soft tyres making the going difficult for the drivers and teams in qualifying, Ricciardo reveals he was considering aborting his final lap in Q3 when he fell four tenths off the top time in sector one.
However, after persevering with to the end, a 'purple' sector three would see him join team-mate Max Verstappen on the second row of the grid… not that he is entirely sure how.
“It was a weird session,” he said. “I thought the last run in Q3 was pretty horrendous to be honest. I came out of turn six and I think I was four tenths slower than my previous lap, so I was thinking about aborting my lap because it was nowhere. Just out of turn one the car started sliding and I couldn't understand why, but then we found a lot of time in the last sector
“To be four tenths off pole with what I thought was one of the worst laps of my qualifying career was pretty interesting. It just felt like a terrible lap in terms of the balance and from turn one it was messy so recovering the whole lap. Second row is not too bad considering.”
BREAKING POINT: These F1 races really push drivers and cars to the limit
With Red Bull adopting an alternative strategy by starting on the super-soft tyres – rather than Mercedes and Ferrari on the soft tyres -, Ricciardo feels the team is well placed if the race is goes to two stops.
“We have to make it work off the start, and that is where we should get the gain. Beyond that I don't think it worked too bad for us in Austin. The deg is pretty similar here. Like Austin we don't think we can do 15 laps on a super soft.
“We are in a similar boat. The way I see it, if it is a two stop, then all we are really giving us is a faster tire to start the race.
“So I don't really see it as being a bad thing. If the Mercedes are able to go really long on the soft, and do a comfortable one stop, then okay maybe their strategy works out best. If we all fall into a two stop, then ours is not too bad.”
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst