Daniel Ricciardo confessed after the qualifying session for the 2017 Chinese GP that the pace he showed in the session was the maximum Red Bull can now get out of its car. However, he builds his confidence on a possible rain-affected race.
Daniel Ricciardo started off his 2017 campaign in a painful fashion in the season-opening Australian GP. The Perth-born driver crashed his car into the barriers in the qualifying which triggered a gearbox-change. Things got only worse with a gearbox problem on an installation lap for the race which was then topped with a mechanical issue with the car which forced the ever-smiling four-time GP-winner to give up his home race.
Things have been going more normally over this weekend so far for Ricciardo. However, Red Bull still seems to languish behind the field-leading Ferrari and Mercedes.
“Personally I’m happy with what I was able to get out of the car this afternoon but obviously as a team and as a driver we want more. I felt like up until today we still probably hadn’t got the most out of the setup but in qualifying I felt pretty comfortable with the car.”
The 27-year-old was delighted with the balance of his car after his team of engineers completed a few ‘bold’ changes after the only dry practice session before the all-important qualifying.
“I could lean on it more or less as much as I wanted but we are still missing some performance compared to Mercedes and Ferrari. However, I felt we improved the balance a lot from this morning and we made some bold changes which helped us in qualifying.”
Red Bull’s race pace seemed to be more promising in the Australian GP than its qualifying speed. However, Ricciardo feels only the rain could really open up chances for him for a podium finish.
“You won’t see me looking disappointed if it rains tomorrow as the wet conditions always create more opportunities and it will be up to me to maximise those if it happens. We hope to have a good car in the wet; downforce plays a huge role in those conditions so we will have to wait and see. Whatever happens it will certainly be an exciting race for the spectators and we will do all we can to be on the podium,” said the Australian.