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Ricciardo “can’t afford” to focus beyond qualifying at “old school” Imola

Ricciardo “can’t afford” to focus beyond qualifying at “old school” Imola

F1 News

Ricciardo “can’t afford” to focus beyond qualifying at “old school” Imola

Ricciardo “can’t afford” to focus beyond qualifying at “old school” Imola

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to put “all the focus” on qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to “old school” Imola's overtaking issues.

Ricciardo, who finished on the podium for Renault at Imola last year before moving to McLaren, revealed he will limit time on setting up the car for Sunday’s race to focus on getting track position at the start.

“We can’t afford to, let's say, not even set the car up, but be fast on Sunday, if you know what I mean," said Ricciardo.

"It is really tricky to overtake here and we can’t really afford to put ourselves too far in the pack after tomorrow afternoon.

“It’s all well and good maybe being a bit quicker on high fuel but I think tonight, at least from my side, it’s definitely all the focus on one-lap performance and trying to qualify there.

“A bit like last year for me, we were there when it mattered and it put us on the podium. So, yeah, I think tomorrow afternoon is very important.

“I think to comfortably put ourselves in Q3 we do have to make some changes, we’re not really there yet.”

The race organisers have modified the length of the DRS zone to provide a greater opportunity for drivers to overtake in the race, but the rest of the track remains narrow and Ricciardo believes it will still be hard to pass.

“I think they’ve certainly done a good thing by extending the DRS zone this year by 100-odd metres,” he said. “I think it’s going to help. It is still tricky, but we saw today, the last corner, a lot of cars making mistakes.

“I nearly had a spin there. It is a tricky corner so in the race, I think if you put pressure on someone and they make a mistake you can get a move done. Elsewhere around the track, it is pretty tricky.

“It’s very narrow here. It’s old school. It reminds you of the old school British circuits. I do like it a lot.”

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