Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Ricciardo surprised by ‘awesome’ front row start

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo believes starting second on the grid is an ‘awesome’ and unexpected result for Red Bull Racing after pipping both Ferraris to the front row.

After Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel had appeared to have threatening pace all weekend, Ricciardo surprised many by snatching second on the grid from the clutches of the Ferrari drivers at the end of Q3 – not least of all himself.

“Second’s pretty awesome! We didn’t expect this,” said Ricciardo in the post-qualifying press conference. “It didn’t seem like we were really going to be in the fight with the front few rows today.”

The Red Bull driver believes that it was the team’s management of the volatile supersoft tyre around the Shanghai Circuit that was the key to the team’s best qualifying result since Singapore last year.

“I didn’t think we started in the best position in Q1, just with the balance,” Ricciardo explained.

“In Q3, we basically found a bit more speed. The supersoft is a pretty tricky tyre to manage, to get the one lap out of it. It’s not exactly easy – it gets chewed up quite a bit as the lap goes on.

“I think just understanding that as the session went on and between me understanding a bit more what to do on track and the engineer making a few adjustments with pressures and the front wing, I think we got a good package at the end.”

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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Posted on Categories 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, 2016 F1 season, Daniel Ricciardo

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  • 15 comments on “Ricciardo surprised by ‘awesome’ front row start”

    1. It’s clear he’s third because both Ferraris missed their braking point on penultimate corner.
      On pure pace he’d be 4th, the usual spot.

      1. Guybrush Threepwood
        16th April 2016, 11:16

        Yep, but he didn’t make the same mistakes. Anyone could push harder and make mistakes, it’s about being good enough to drive as fast as possible without any errors. If Ricciardo was in one of the Ferraris then I agree he probably would have been pretty close to Rosberg.

      2. I agree, but why take away the fact that he just monstered that lap while the ferrari’s made mistakes at a crucial time? We all know the redbull isn’t the 2nd best car atm. Well done Ric, I expect him to finish off the podium but he has given himself the best chance to sneak a 2nd or 3rd spot on merit

      3. True, but I believe he’s second because he managed his tyres better earlier in the lap, where both the Ferrari’s didn’t so they both went wide.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          16th April 2016, 11:48

          correct @stretch.
          On SS you have to take S1 easy; even ROS was 0.1sec slower in S1 than RAI’s first run.

      4. That’s why Motorsport is car + driver, RIC is getting everything he possibly can out of the RB.

      5. You must be a riot at parties.

        Glad to see a bit of a change up front.

    2. The Force Awakens!

    3. kudos, nice drive today and what a great car.

    4. Great lap Daniel . Should make for a great race.A lot to watch from front of grid plus Hamilton starting from rear.

    5. Kudos to Ricciardo! Personally, I think Ricciardo and Grosjean have been standout drivers over the past 2 races. Hope he bags a podium tomorrow

      1. I completely agree. Ricciardo and Grosjean have definitely been the two drivers of the season so far.

    6. Very impressive lap by Ricciardo! Great start to the season for him. He seems confident and relaxed, which shows in the results he produces.

    7. Redbull only .5 behind Mercedes on a power circuit is very impressive.

    8. What a bright spark of hope RIC is for an Aussie WDC. Webber was fast, on a good day, but would also be very prone to error.

      This Ricciardo bloke is fast, consistent, and by and large been error free.

      I just really hope he gets a favourable car + team-mate match-up in the coming years. When Verstappen comes up to Red Bull (if he doesn’t Red Bull are mad) next year that’s going to be a very big test.

    Comments are closed.