‘Grumpy’ Ricciardo disappointed with Bahrain qualifying


Daniel Ricciardo admitted to feeling disappointed by his qualifying performance in Bahrain after his efforts left him a lowly P14 in the pecking order.

Ahead of this weekend’s curtain-raiser at Sakhir, Ricciardo sought to downplay the hype surrounding RB after the team’s solid showing last week pre-season testing.

But the Aussie’s impressive display in FP1 on Thursday only reinforced the perception that RB’s VCARB 01 would be a force to be reckoned with in F1’s midfield.

However, Friday’s qualifying suggested that the Faenza squad isn’t quite there yet, although Ricciardo’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda concluded Q2 just outside the top ten.

Ricciardo on the other hand was anything but happy with his own performance, the 34-year-old kicking himself for leaving too much time on the table.

“I was disappointed in my position ‘slash’ performance,” he told the media. “I didn’t drive shit or anything, but I never really crossed the line being like, ‘Yeah, I did a clear lap’.

“I always knew, I could make time at Turn 1, or Turn 4. There were always some parts on the track where I knew there was lap time but I never really was able to put it together.

“Even if I improved a little bit, then I’d probably lose a bit in the next corner, so it kind of see-sawed a bit. I was never progressively gaining. So I felt like, from that point of view, I wasn’t that happy with my session.”


Ricciardo reckoned that as a team, RB had performed in line with current expectations, especially given the tightness of F1’s field.

“I think in terms of team performance, this is kind of where we thought [we would be],” he said.

“I feel like there’s a bit more time on the table but, taking Yuki in 11th, we felt like, if we do like a great lap, Q3 is possible but, otherwise, we’re probably around that top 12 area. So, I think it’s where we are for now.

“We expected a little bit of a steady start to the year, so I wouldn’t say we’re disappointed. I’m a bit disappointed in my session but I think, as a whole, we’re not worried or panicked. I think it’s where we thought we’d ultimately be.

“I’m just disappointed I couldn’t find those extra couple of tenths.

“14th on paper doesn’t look great, but, looking at the times, it’s all very close. There’s a lot to still be quite optimistic about. There was some easy lap time I left on the table so, on one hand, I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s there’.

“But I’m disappointed I didn’t put it together because that’s what qualifying is for and you’re meant to put it together when it counts. So, yeah, I’m kind of grumpy at myself.”

While feeling a tad disenchanted, Ricciardo still felt optimistic over his chances of scoring points on race day.

“I definitely think we can still do it,” he said. “Everything’s close, so there’s a lot to play for.

“I think you just have that extra tenth or two in the race and manage the tyres better, and then you can definitely be fighting in the points.

“I’ll shake off tonight and, in about 60/90 minutes, I’ll feel better and get ready for tomorrow. I’m excited to race again, definitely. I think quali was fun. It’s obviously intense and you get those kinds of nerves again.

“I’m confident to be better than what I qualified today. Nico [Hulkenberg] did a really good job today and, if you look at last year, [Haas] would normally struggle a bit more on race day, so, if that’s the same trend, then maybe that’s one car we can potentially fight.”

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