Daniel Ricciardo says Renault were a minute shy of taking part in Q3 following his spin during qualifying for Formula 1’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo will line-up from 10th on the grid for Sunday’s race at Portimao after he failed to emerge in the final part of qualifying, having picked up rear-wing damage with a spin into the barriers in the closing moments of Q2.

Renault worked frantically to repair his car and carry out a rear-wing change, with Ricciardo revealing the team got “very close” to being able to send him out for the session.

Asked what had happened, Ricciardo replied: “I spun! I don’t know. The cars are quite sensitive, I had to get through a few lapped cars, they are off the race line, but turning and braking, it depends where the wind is coming from.

“Felt like as soon as I got in, I lost the rear but I’ll watch it again, and see if it was something I caused it from, but it’s done. Obviously a shame, because when I lost it, I was OK, I’ll spin and get going again, but it kept going until I hit the barrier and damaged the rear wing.

“The team got very close to getting me back out on track for Q3. One more minute and we were on track. It’s a shame, I could see them working hard in the mirrors, trying to make it work for me, so it was a bit of a let down for them, but we’ll make it happen tomorrow and move up.”

Despite feeling that Renault had been struggling for one-lap pace at the Algarve circuit, Ricciardo is optimistic about Renault’s prospects for the race and is confident he make up ground.

“I feel once we settle into a rhythm, we can get the car in a bit of a happier place,” the Australian said.

“On one lap performance, we struggled a bit this weekend. I think the surface is so slippery, everyone is putting on all the downforce they have got.

“Although we have improved, I think we still know that is our weakest area, a lot of cars still have better real high downforce packages than us and I think that is where they are getting us on one lap.

“Once the race settles, and we get into the tyres, it should be OK. I’m ready to move forward, finish better than tenth and make up for the error today.”



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