Renault F1 Team faced a disappointing qualifying for tomorrow’s SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo twelfth and Nico Hülkenberg eighteenth at the Baku City Circuit.
Both drivers struggled with grip throughout a fragmented Saturday in Baku with qualifying hindered by a number of yellow and red flags.
Nico exited at the first stage of qualifying with Daniel falling 0.096secs short of Q3. Due to penalties, both drivers will gain a grid position with Nico lining up seventeenth and Daniel eleventh for Sunday’s race.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.19-02, Q: P18, 1:43.427 / FP3: P16, 1:44.043
“I’ve been missing the harmony between myself and the car all weekend. We couldn’t find that sweet spot with the car or the tyres. Things didn’t quite go our way in qualifying with a yellow flag hampering my first fast lap and then I locked up and went in too deep on my second. The race, however, is not written off. We know it will be difficult but we know what’s happened here in the past. You have to be in it, and we’ll race hard tomorrow.”
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.19-03, Q: P12, 1:42.477 / FP3: P11, 1:43.561
“Considering how the weekend has gone so far, we probably lowered our expectation for today. Twelfth isn’t ideal. This weekend we’ve been a little bit off the pace and small things make a big difference. We’ve made changes from yesterday and certainly made progress. You never know what will happen here. I’m right in the midfield for the start and it can be crazy at this place. We have to keep it clean, keep chipping away and aim to come through the field.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director
“It wasn’t a particularly good qualifying for the team today with both drivers missing out on Q3. The weekend has been difficult and a little intermittent, but that’s the same for all teams and that’s part of the challenge of racing in Baku. Nico has struggled with confidence in the car, while Daniel was slightly happier and managed to get through to Q2 and very close to a shot at the top 10. We know anything can happen here as we’ve seen in the past couple of years, so we’re not counting anything out for tomorrow’s race.”