Daniel Ricciardo RB admission as shock first-quarter double exit follows huge upgrade

Team RB driver Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he was “honestly quite surprised” to qualify in 18th position for the Spanish Grand Prix despite a host of updates which should have resulted in better performances .

Neither Ricciardo nor Yuki Tsunoda managed to get their Team RB machines out of Q1 in qualifying today despite a series of improvements including a new floor – but according to the Australian, the car didn’t feel bad . This simply did not allow for the recovery of the speed required for a better qualifying position.

Daniel Ricciardo “confident” but surprised by the performance

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Although Daniel Ricciardo hopes there will be more speed with this new RB upgrade, he admitted that in qualifying “the car felt a lot more together” and more balanced compared to the previous day’s practice.

“Of course there are some corners where you feel like you should be flat or whatever, so you know you might be missing a little bit of load, but overall I felt a lot better than yesterday” , explained Ricciardo.

“To still be back where we are… there’s still a little more to find, I guess.”

Ricciardo qualified in 18th, with teammate Yuki Tsunoda starting just one place ahead of him in 17th.

Tsunoda expressed a similar sentiment to Ricciardo, saying: “(I wanted) at least P16. 17th place is quite far from what I wanted or expected from this round.

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According to Ricciardo, the main challenge is perfecting the changes in load and aerodynamic balance caused by the updated floor. He felt his fast qualifying lap was good enough to at least secure him a spot in Q2, but that wasn’t the case.

Barcelona has often been the place of choice to introduce improvements, as it can be considered an “average” of other European Formula 1 circuits. The slow pace in Spain therefore does not bode well for future performances on circuits like Austria or Silverstone.

However, Ricciardo sees the bright side of things.

“On the one hand, it’s like, OK, we have work to do — but at least we now have a good few weeks of proper testing,” he said. “We have to face it head on. It’s good to have maybe a few weak tracks coming up where we can probably learn more about the car.

Read next: Explained: Why Ferrari’s ‘accelerated’ upgrade failed to put them in the battle for Spanish GP pole

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