When Ricciardo ended Friday practice fourth overall, optimism for a strong result in both qualifying and the race was at a high in the Renault garage. However, as others improved, Renault was unable to translate the early promise on Saturday.
Ricciardo commented: “It was a shame that it was so close out there and we only have 13th place to show for it.
"When you miss out by such a little margin, it’s a shame as it could be the difference between four spots on the grid."
Of his chances to improve and build on his 20-points scored in the season to date, the Australian added: "It will be hard for overtaking, but we’ll try. It’s going to be hot, the tyres are going to have a workout and there could be some opportunities on strategy for the race. I’m still optimistic for points.”
For team-mate Ocon, Saturday got off to a bad start as practice came to a close as the Frenchman failed to spot Haas driver Kevin Magnussen pulling into the middle of the track to allow a Williams driver through to complete a qualifying simulation.
Ocon looked up at the last moment and pitched his R.S.20 into the concrete wall to avoid contact with the Haas.
Ocon reflected: "On a positive note, the mechanics were incredible. After the unfortunate incident in FP3, the car was badly damaged and, in under two hours, they managed to put it back together.
"It was a fantastic effort so a big thanks to all of them. Unfortunately, the negative is that we didn’t have the pace to get into Q3 today. It’s something we need to keep looking at as we know the importance of reaching the top ten.
"Last week we were fourteenth on the grid and scored points, so I’ll give it my best tomorrow to do the same.”
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