Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his Renault mechanics were “one minute” away from getting him back into the final top-ten shoot-out after he spun out during the second part of qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Australian, who finished on the podium at the last race in Germany, spun off late on in Q2 but recovered back to the pits to give his mechanics a race against time to fit a new rear wing.
But despite a frantic effort, the team failed to make the required repairs in time to get him out again for a final run, and as a result, he will start tomorrow’s race from 10th on the grid.
“One more minute and we were on track,” said Ricciardo. “The team actually got very close, so it is a shame. I could see them working hard. It was a bit of a let down for them, but we will make it happen tomorrow and move up.”
Renault and Ricciardo, in particular, been resurgent in recent races to lie just two points behind McLaren in fourth and six points behind third-placed Racing Point.
As every points counts, Ricciardo is determined to make amends.
“I’m ready to move forward, finish better than 10th, absolutely, and make up for the error today,” he said. “I feel once we settle into a rhythm we can get the car in a happier place.
"On one-lap performance, we’ve struggled a bit this weekend. I think the surface is so slippery everyone is putting on all the downforce they’ve got, and although we’ve improved I think we still know that is our weakest area.
“A lot of cars have better really high-downforce packages than us and I think that’s where they’re getting us on one lap, but once the race settles and we get into the tyres, it should be okay.”
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