Renault DP World F1 Team will start the Pirelli Tuscan Grand Prix with both cars inside the top ten. Daniel Ricciardo lines up for the inaugural Formula 1 race at the Autodromo di Mugello in eighth, two places ahead of Esteban Ocon in tenth.
The duo looked strong and evenly matched over the session, with both smoothly through Q1. Esteban finished in eighth while Daniel was just one tenth of a second behind in eleventh.
Track conditions improved for Q2 as the sun light shafts beamed down and the track rubbered in. Daniel’s first lap in the second segment was good for fifth and he elected not to make a second run in Q2. It proved enough as he eased through to the final shoot-out. Esteban went for a second crack of the whip and just five hundredths of a second separated them at the close of the session.
Expectations were high for Q3. Daniel set a decent time but was set to improve on his second lap. Unfortunately, however, a spin for Esteban on his one and only quick lap compromised Daniel’s potential hot lap as he had to lift to pass the Frenchman’s car. The Q2 laps set by both would have been good enough for fifth and sixth on the grid.
Starting eighth and tenth in a closely matched grid promises for a close, exciting race tomorrow.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.20-01, Q: P8, 1:16.543, FP3: P17, 1:18.142
“We showed pretty good pace today, so it’s a shame not to maximise it. We’re still in a good position to score points for the race. I was happy with the session, especially with Q2, where I put in a good lap and saved two sets for Q3. My first run in Q3 wasn’t the best, I lost the rear and it was a bit messy and there was certainly more to come on the second set. Unfortunately, with Esteban’s spin and the yellow flag, I couldn’t improve my lap time. Looking at the result, there was potential for fifth with a clean lap. There will be a lot going on tomorrow and I think there will be a good battle for the top five and hopefully it’s a fun one.”
Esteban Ocon, #31, R.S.20-04, Q: P10, DNF, FP3: P11, 1:17.746
“Unfortunately, I lost the car on my Q3 run and couldn’t put in a lap time. It was one of those times when you push the limits more and more throughout the session and that one was just a bit over. It’s a shame as we showed good pace and we could have qualified a lot further up. The car was good today and the team did a really solid job, especially the step between FP3 and Qualifying. We’re in a position to score points tomorrow and I know we have the ability to grab some.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
“We can be happy to have got two cars into Q3, particularly after our difficult morning today. However, we can’t be totally content with the finishing positions. We justifiably showed that the car had more pace than that; we could have been fifth and sixth. We, nevertheless, have to be satisfied with eighth and tenth and see what we can do tomorrow. Watching the support races, it seems possible to overtake, so it could be an interesting race. Conditions look similar to today, so we hope to have another strong race and double points finish for the team.”