Daniel Ricciardo says he’s disappointed he could not make the top ten of the grid for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.
The West Australian had a disappointing start to his Renault career, finishing only 12th fastest and being beaten by his teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo recorded a time of one minute 22.570 seconds. He was edged out of 11th by Hulkenberg in 1:22.562.
“I race first and foremost for myself, but part of me for sure was bummed for the crowd. I know they would have loved to see me in Q3 and that is felt where i came up short as well for them.”
Ricciardo said the list of things that needed attention on his unfamiliar car was shortening.
“I mean comfort and that I feel alright, things like brakes … I think we made a step this weekend … Generally the ride of the car, suspension, I think we made a step [there] as well.”
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position, beating Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final lap by .0112s.
Hamilton set a new track record of 1:20.48 seconds and claimed his sixth straight pole position at Albert Park.
The Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was next, with Ricciardo’s former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen fourth.
Vettel said he still believed he could take the fight to Mercedes.
“Of course, I think we can,” he said after qualifying. “You never know what is happening … we have a good race car, obviously Mercedes are clear favourite … but we are here to race.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start fifth, while Romain Grosjean surprised by posting the sixth fastest time in the Haas.
Australian Grand Prix P1 qualifying
1. Lewis Hamilton (ENG/MER) 1min 20.486sec
2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/MER) +0.112
3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/FER) 0.704
4. Max Verstappen (NED/RBR) 0.834
5. Charles Leclerc (MON/FER) 0.956
6. Romain Grosjean (FRA/HAA) 1.340
7. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/HAA) 1.613
8. Lando Norris (GBR/MCL) 1.818
9. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/ALF) 1.828
10. Sergio Perez (MEX/RAC) 2.295
11. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/REN) 1.548
12. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/REN) 1.556
13. Alexander Albon (THA/STR) 1.622
14. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/ALF) 1.637
15. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/STR) 1.760
16. Lance Stroll (CAN/RAC) 1.000
17. Pierre Gasly (FRA/RBR) 1.003
18. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/MCL) 1.067
19. George Russell (GBR/WIL) 2.343
20. Robert Kubica (POL/WIL) 4.050