Renault DP World F1 Team missed out on a top ten grid slot for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo thirteenth and Esteban Ocon fifteenth in qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
It was a far from smooth day for the team with Esteban involved in a late incident in Free Practice 3, which brought out a red flag. Esteban made a late attempt to avoid Kevin Magnussen between Turns 3 and 4 and lost control of his Renault R.S.20, and subsequently hit the wall.
A phenomenal sub-two-hour effort from the mechanics meant Esteban was back out for qualifying on time after sustaining damage to the front and rear of his car.
Both drivers progressed through Q1 with Daniel’s first run good enough for tenth and Esteban – on his second effort – also through to Q2 in twelfth place.
The battle for Q3 was always going to be extremely tight with Daniel missing out on a top ten shot by 0.03secs in thirteenth. Esteban, like Daniel, improved his lap-time on his second run but was eliminated in fifteenth place.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.20-01, Q: P13, 1:17.168, FP3: P10, 1:18.384
“It was a shame that it was so close out there and we only have thirteenth place to show for it. When you miss out by such a little margin, it’s a shame as it could be the difference between four spots on the grid. It was a clean lap in Q2, but other teams were able to find a little bit more. We have to find a way tomorrow and we’ll be pushing as best as we can. It will be hard for overtaking, but we’ll try. It’s going to be hot, the tyres are going to have a workout and there could be some opportunities on strategy for the race. I’m still optimistic for points.”
Esteban Ocon, #31, R.S.20-04, Q: P15, 1:17.567, FP3: P11, 1:18.602
“On a positive note, the mechanics were incredible. After the unfortunate incident in FP3, the car was badly damaged and, in under two hours, they managed to put it back together. It was a fantastic effort so a big thanks to all of them. Unfortunately, the negative is that we didn’t have the pace to get into Q3 today. It’s something we need to keep looking at as we know the importance of reaching the top ten. Last week we were fourteenth on the grid and scored points, so I’ll give it my best tomorrow to do the same.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
“It was not a good day and certainly not where we expected to be in qualifying after a strong showing at the last couple of races. We have got a lot of work and thinking to do overnight to try and understand our pace deficit. Having said that, it’s a tough race here and it’s going to be very hot. We generally manage our tyres quite well in the race, so we’re not ruling anything out for tomorrow. As always, we’ll be aiming to do everything we can to get both cars in the points.”