Ricciardo secures first Q3 appearance while Tsunoda grabs the headlines in Q2

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Emilia Romagna, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrariit

On home turf for their team, Visa Cash RB drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo delivered their best qualifying results of the year, with the Australian securing his first Q3 appearance in 2024.

Yuki Tsunoda looked quick all through the weekend, and he surprised even the top-runners in the second qualifying session where he ended up third fastest. The Japanese driver was delighted with the behaviour of his VCARB01, but he conceded that his Faenza-based outfit did not expect their car to excel on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

“Congrats to the team, and Daniel as well. We’re showing how much pace the car has, and I think the amount of work the people are doing in the factory is more than we think, so they deserve the credit. We didn’t expect this much performance but the team is working really hard to develop our car and their effort is massive, more than I can imagine, and it’s paying off because the car is consistently performing really well.

Despite his stellar performance in qualifying, Tsunoda rued his last lap as he was unable to put it together: “As a "new" team with many new people, we needed time to blend together and now everyone’s working well and we don’t make many mistakes.

“They definitely deserve the results and I’m super appreciative of the team for giving me such a nice car, especially at our home race in front of our factory people in the grandstand. For myself, to be honest, I’m not entirely happy because I didn’t manage to give the maximum in Q3 today, but I think until then it was pretty good.

“It was the first time I was able to get through Q2 with one set and that’s definitely a positive. In Q3, the laps I did weren’t amazing, I was expecting more and I could’ve done better. As a driver, it’s always frustrating when you don’t put it all together and there is time left on the table. In saying that, this week has been pretty solid so far, so we’ll focus on extracting the maximum performance and finishing strong with both cars tomorrow,” Tsunoda concluded.

Ricciardo appeared to struggle for pace in the first qualifying segment, but he eventually made it through into Q3, setting the tenth quickest lap in the middle part of the all-important session.

The Australian then went on to take 9th on the grid, missing two tenths of a second to his team-mate Tsunoda. The eight-time grand prix winner pinpointed to the first sector as the section where he struggled the most during the weekend.

“It was a really good and positive day from a team’s point of view. We are happy as both of us managed to get into Q3. Yuki’s doing a good job and he’s driving well all weekend, feeling really comfortable in the car from FP1. Qualifying was a better session for me, we made some progress from the start of the weekend as we were struggling a bit more than Yuki.

“In every lap I did, I was always trying to find a bit more here and there, but the first sector is still the part where I’m struggling quite a lot. That’s where the lap got away from me but we’ll keep looking at it tonight to understand more, and I’ll work on it.

“We’re in a good place and I’m happy and comfortable in the car for the rest of the lap, so it’s a matter of figuring out what I can do better mainly there. We made some improvements but still not enough to fight those guys a bit further up. Looking at tomorrow, we’re in the first half of the grid which is good, so we’ll try to look at some points by the end of the race. It would be good if both of us get points tomorrow for the home race of the team, so let’s do that!”