Ricciardo buoyed by overnight improvements and solid qualie


Overnight improvements which led to a good performance in qualifying from Daniel Ricciardo have left the Renault driver optimistic for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo clocked in sixth at the end of the afternoon's top-ten shootout session and 'best of the rest' behind F1's usual suspects.

A solid result preceded by the Aussie's equally strong run in this morning's FP2 session.

"We actually made a few improvements overnight and that really helped and kind of put us clear in that midfield," Ricciardo told Sky F1.

"Obviously, Perez had the pace on us yesterday, but I think today from the morning and the afternoon, I was kind of the guy to beat in our little midfield pack.

"We certainly improved the car and Nico as well, he'd been struggling a bit more, but it looked like he found some rhythm in the last part of qualifying. Sixth and seventh is all we can ask for."

Unfortunately, Ricciardo's impressive qualifying will be partially negated by a five-spot grid drop, the result of Renault introducing its new Spec-C engine at Spa.

Asked whether he could carve his way through the field thanks to his R.S.19's pace, Ricciardo said: "Yes, I am, it's been solid. I think even the long runs yesterday felt pretty good.

"We've got some decent cars around us but I think we will be able to get inside the top-ten and do something from there, but how far we can go who knows?"

The seven-time Grand Prix joked that the Belgian Grand Prix was like a fresh start for everyone, with drivers raring to go after the summer break.

"Spa is a bit like race 1 of the year, it's always a little bit hectic," he said.

"After the break everyone is a bit excited. There's still a bit of alcohol in everyone's system, so Turn 1 can always produce something!"

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