Renault DP World F1 Team will line up outside the top ten for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo eleventh and Esteban Ocon fourteenth in qualifying at the Hungaroring.
Rain had threatened throughout the day, but it never arrived at the circuit for Free Practice 3 or Qualifying.
Both Daniel and Esteban progressed through Q1 on two Soft tyre runs with track evolution bringing the times down on each lap.
In Q2, both drivers attempted an initial run on Medium tyres with half an eye on Sunday and beginning the race with some flexibility on strategy.
But after a small error for Esteban at Turn 1 and a loss of time for Daniel in the final sector, both drivers had to go for a second run on Soft tyres. Daniel did not improve his time and missed out on a Q3 shot by 0.153secs in eleventh. Esteban did find extra lap time but was 0.081secs behind in fourteenth.
The chance of rain continues into Sunday with the team looking to assess its options on strategy for all conditions.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.20-03, Q: P11, 1:15.661, FP3: P10, 1:16.508
“Today, we just couldn’t seem to improve enough. The Medium in Q2, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the right idea. I don’t feel we were any slower than yesterday, more that the others found a bit more time. We’ll work on it and try and understand what happened. We can still be positive for tomorrow. We have a free tyre choice, which can be very important here, and we’ll look to make that work. I’m feeling optimistic and there are certainly points up for grabs.”
Esteban Ocon, #31, R.S.20-04, Q: P14, 1:15.742, FP3: P13, 1:16.706
“It wasn’t a great session for us today. There are a few things we need to review as it felt we didn’t have the pace to go through to Q3. In particular, I wasn’t happy with the car balance and it felt a bit tricky to drive. It’s disappointing, of course, but it’s all to play for tomorrow. If it’s dry, we have a free choice of tyres and, if it rains, we know we have a good chance.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
“It was not an ideal qualifying session for us. We were not as competitive as yesterday morning when we were happy with the car and both drivers happy with the balance. Today we struggled a bit with tyre grip, warm-up and general balance. One of the fundamentals here is getting the tyres in the right window to optimise the grip for the whole lap. It’s a demanding track on tyres and to get them right for the first corner and the last is not easy to achieve and I think that’s where we missed out today. We will benefit from a free tyre choice tomorrow, especially Daniel starting eleventh.”