Chinese Grand Prix – Daniel Ricciardo was satisfied with a top six finish following a race to assemble his car before the start of the session.
Following a power unit problem in the final free practice session, the Red Bull Racing team faced a tough challenge to install a new power unit in time for the qualifying hour.
Whilst Ricciardo missed the majority of the opening qualifying segment, he managed to leave the pit lane with around three minutes to go.
His one-and-only qualifying lap was just enough to progress into the second part of qualifying, where he could undertake a more ‘normal’ session.
He ended the final part of qualifying in sixth place, just over one tenth of a second behind his team-mate Max Verstappen.
Speaking after qualifying, the Australian was grateful for the work his mechanics did to enable him to compete.
“I’m happy to have got out in Qualifying and I want to thank the mechanics for doing such a great job,” said Ricciardo.
“I think they have broken their own record for an engine change several times and they did it again today. It got to 2pm and the guys were saying get ready, but we didn’t think it was going to happen.
“I didn’t expect to get out but I was ready to go and excited when I did. What happened this morning wasn’t the mechanics’ fault but they had all the pressure to put the new engine in the car in time and they did very well.
“In the end it’s relatively close, we’re at the tail end of the top six which isn’t ideal, but I think with all things considered it wasn’t a bad afternoon and I’m just thankful that the team were able to get me out there.
Verstappen added that Red Bull’s race pace could bring them into play for podium positions.
“In general it was not a bad Qualifying, Ferrari were very fast but we were not that far off Mercedes at the end,” said Verstappen, “In the race they can’t use these engine modes so, based on the long run pace, we can be a lot closer to the guys in front.
“We have a different strategy, it may be a one stop or possibly a two stop race and depending on temperatures and degradation things can change.
“Hopefully we’ll have a clean start and then we’ll have to see if we can get up the field and secure a podium.”