Frustrated Ricciardo seeking answers for qualifying woes


Daniel Ricciardo admits that he needs to find a solution to his persistent qualifying woes and understand the root cause for his frustrating lack of consistency.

Ricciardo's struggles in the opening stretch of the 2024 season have been a talking point in the paddock, with disappointing results fueling speculation that the eight-time Grand Prix winner’s seat at RB could be at risk.

Those worries were perhaps exaggerated but there’s no denying that the Aussie’s results – especially on Saturdays – are falling short of his and his RB team’s expectations.

A strong qualifying performance in Miami, where he secured P4 on the grid for the Sprint race and maintained that position throughout the short form event, offered a glimmer of hope.

However, this ray of sunshine was quickly overshadowed by a disastrous qualifying session for Sunday’s main race, which saw him start from last place.

At Imola, Ricciardo made the top-ten shootout only for a poor start – a weakness shared on that day by his RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda – to set him back among the second half of the field on race day.

Ahead of last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, the 34-year-old was brimming with confidence, hopeful of achieving a strong result at a venue where he conquered in 2018 his seventh career win in F1.

His optimism was quickly dashed however when he was eliminated in Q2. With overtaking opportunities practically non-existent in the Principality, he concluded his Sunday no better than where he started, in 12th position.

“I definitely felt good coming into the session, coming into the day,” Ricciardo said, quoted by Speedcafe as he described his mindset ahead of qualifying.

“Obviously two years ago here, I really struggled with McLaren. I felt a lot better this time around, but look, the reality is the result isn't really that much better.”


Tyres and his difficulties in injecting temperatures into the latter have emerged as a potential contributing factor to Ricciardo's qualifying inconsistency.

But while acknowledging the tyre issue, Ricciardo is careful not to use it as an excuse.

“I don't want to just be like ‘hey, tyres, this and that'. I want to try and take a good look at myself and see what I'm missing,” he explained.

“Then we'll look at what the car can give me to help me out, because I think the frustrating thing is I can do it, but it's obviously not happening frequently enough.

“That's where I'm kind of getting frustrated with myself, just trying to understand why it's not consistently, week-in, week-out being a Q3 contender.”


To help Ricciardo turn around is fortunes, RB team boss Laurent Mekies has said that there’s a clear focus on optimizing the outfit’s VCARB 01 for the eight-time Grand Prix winner.

Upcoming developments are expected to further refine the car in a way that aligns more closely with the Aussie’s preferences.

If the car can be successfully adapted to his driving style, it could be the catalyst for a significant improvement in Ricciardo’s performances and a potential boost to RB’s overall championship standing.

The Faenza-based outfit current sits sixth in F1’s Constructors’ championship while Ricciardo is 14th in the Drivers’ standings with just 5 points, with Tsunoda positioned 10th with 19 points.

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