Mexican Grand Prix – Daniel Ricciardo says he felt ‘helpless’ in a confusing qualifying session for the Red Bull driver.
While team mate Max Verstappen fought for his maiden Formula 1 pole, Ricciardo struggled for pace and was just seventh, eight tenths off Verstappen, behind the Force India of Esteban Ocon.
“It was just about not understanding what was going on in terms of the grip. We didn’t touch the car, even from yesterday we left the car as it was and just every time we left the pits had no grip,” Ricciardo said.
“In Q3 we tried experimenting with an extra warm up lap to try to give the tyres something but it just seemed like what I left the box was the level of grip I had throughout qualifying.
“Sometimes you get one set that you can’t turn on or don’t warm up properly so you might lose a bit of time but every run was the same story.
“So I’m super frustrated but I’m sure we’ll find something. But it doesn’t make the session any easier to go through.”
The Australian added that he was confused further by how he was able to put in competitive laps immediately during final practice, despite the track being significantly cooler.
“This morning the track was really cold and we were still able to hit the first timed lap so this afternoon should have been a breeze to warm the tyres up. That’s where it’s more confusing I think. That doesn’t really explain the problems we had. If anything it should have helped.”
Despite a relatively low grid position, Ricciardo still believes he has the potential to score a podium finish in the race.
“If we figure it out and get the car back we had for the rest of the weekend we can still race up to a podium tomorrow.
“But understanding the last hour is what we’ve got to do. I was for sure angry, but helpless in that session.”