Daniel Ricciardo says starting the race on the right side of the grid is an ‘insult to injury’ as he qualifies P14 for the race on Sunday.
Ricciardo’s Saturday under the lights at the Losail International Circuit was forgettable. It was a surprising session for many involved. Other than Ricciardo, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also failed to break into the top 10.
The McLaren driver will start from P14, next to Leclerc. However, the Aussie driver said that starting P14 was not ideal. According to him, the right side of the grid will not be a good place to overtake cars as the optimal racing line will be on the outside.
🏁 Q2 CLASSIFICATION 🏁
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 20, 2021
“I think the insult to injury is the right-hand side of the grid is going to be terrible.” Ricciardo said to Sky Sports.
Ricciardo then joked about ‘protesting the decision’. This was a dig at the recent verbal battles between the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses.
“I know that sounds real negative, but I think it’s speaking fact at the moment, there are no support categories this weekend so we will see if they can give it a polish tonight.” “Or we can protest someone, gain a position, they all got in my way so I’m going to protest them actually.” he said.
The car just lacked a lot of pace, says Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo struggled for form in the starting stages of the season. However, the 32-year-old has reached Q3 in seven of the last eight races this year. Hence, it was a surprise when the honey badger missed out on the final session of the evening.
The McLaren driver admitted that they had been struggling in the long corners all year long. The corner at Lusail did little to help the papaya team when it came to pace.
“Honestly, just didn’t have the pace, I think all weekend we were trying to find a bit more,” he said.
“That didn’t feel that bad. But just trying to carry a little bit more speed through a few corners. I just couldn’t quite get it to hold. So not really finding those last few tenths.”
The curtain falls on a mixed Qualifying for the team at the #QatarGP. 🇶🇦
NOR 🇬🇧 P6
RIC 🇦🇺 P14
We’ll keep chipping away. 👊 pic.twitter.com/7AxUz1YOcq
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 20, 2021
“So we will see what we can do, free tire choice, I’ll take that, but ultimately didn’t have the pace. “Some corners feel pretty good, but I think we know this year these long corners is where we struggle more than others,” said Ricciardo.
On the other hand, Ricciardo’s teammate, Lando Norris, put in a good performance on Saturday. The young Briton will start the race from P6, ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. McLaren will hope that Norris defends his position from the Spaniard when the lights go out on Sunday.