Red Bull mastered the track of Hockenheim and went on to conquer the second row of the grid in Germany. The team is happy to beat its closest rival Ferrari and get close to the field-leading Mercedes on a track which doesn't favour its cars.
Red Bull has had a massive lift in performance over the last races and managed to outpace Ferrari on many occasions. However, it did not expect to excel on the Hockenheimring which emphasizes the role of power unit.
The Milton Keynes-based squad went on to claim third place with Daniel Ricciardo and fourth place with Max Verstappen.
“In Q3 I knew I had to find some more time and I put a really good lap together in the first run,” said Ricciardo after qualifying.
"Then I knew there wasn’t much more for the second run so I probably tried a little bit too hard and made a few mistakes, but in the end it was a nice qualifying. Third is a good place to start. Hopefully we can look at Mercedes tomorrow and have a good battle with them and not focus on what’s happening behind us.“
The three-time GP winner builds on strong race runs from Friday’s runnings. However, he knows that starting on slightly more used tyres will be a challenge in the early part of the race.
“The long runs yesterday looked a bit better than they did in Budapest so let’s see. I’ll start the race on slightly older tyres because I had to do two laps in Q2, which means they are not as fresh for the start but it’ll be fine.”
The Australian stated that the mood is getting better at Red Bull after the team has managed to improve its pace with every race.
“The feeling in the team is very good at the moment. In the last three races now both Red Bulls have been in front of Ferrari and it seems like we’re getting a little bit closer to Mercedes.”
Ricciardo’s team mate Max Verstappen was delighted with his performance despite the defeat.
“I’m feeling really good, it was a smooth qualifying. Q3 was strong, it was just a bit of a shame about my last sector where I washed out and lost a few tenths.”
“It’s quite tough to get the tyres in the right window but we still managed a good time.”
The Dutchman aims to beat Ferrari, although he is aware that the Italians’ car usually picks up the pace on Sunday.
“The main target is to be in front of the Ferraris and that is what we have done. That said, we know they will be quick in the race as we saw last week.”
“Race pace is looking very good for the moment. We definitely want to be challenging for a podium tomorrow, I think a win might be difficult though.”
The one-time GP winner acknowledged that the Hockenheimring is not an easy track to learn, but he had fun out there on the short circuit.
“It’s my first time here in a Formula 1 car and not an easy track to learn so I’m really pleased with today.”