Daniel Ricciardo Savours Stellar Sprint Result

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405040281 // Usage for editorial use only //
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405040281 // Usage for editorial use only //

It was a mixed day for Daniel Ricciardo, who scored a stellar fourth-place finish in the Sprint Race, but then qualified in 18th for Sunday’s main race.

Yuki Tsunoda also scored a point in the Sprint race, finishing eighth, then had a much more productive qualifying session than his teammate, getting his car into Q3.

Daniel Ricciardo

Sprint – Pos. 4th

“It was a very tough Sprint race, but I felt awesome, fighting towards the front just feels so much nicer. I saw a Ferrari in the mirror for almost the whole race and I thought, alright, challenge accepted, let’s do what we can! Every lap I was able to hold off Carlos (Sainz), so when I saw the end of the race coming near, I really thought that maybe we could maintain the position. It was a Sprint race in all forms of the word and was without any tyre-saving. I’m proud of myself and the team, of all the people who stood behind me and believed in me. There’s happiness for sure, but also some powerful emotions, especially looking at the first few races of the season. Thanks to the people for having some patience and then being awarded with a result like this. We all deserve this result as we went through a bit of stuff to get here, so it’s even nicer.”

Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:28.617, pos. 18th

“This is the sport, it’s highly unpredictable, and sometimes things can change so quickly, so at least we really enjoyed the morning with the team. Today’s afternoon was frustrating and obviously, I’m not happy with it as there’s a big contrast with what we achieved in the Sprint. I saw Lando’s lap in SQ3 yesterday, where he was struggling from the start of the lap, sliding everywhere with his rear with the softs, and honestly, I felt the same today. I started sliding out of Turn 1 and it just got worse and worse throughout the rest of the lap. There’s no real explanation right now. I feel that we have a good car, but I think that in the last run of Q1, the tyres were simply operating on a different level of grip. The warm-up lap was fine and also the team was happy with where the tyres were. We’ll definitely be looking at it tonight, to hopefully have an explanation. Tomorrow will be a long race, obviously starting last doesn’t help, but we’ll have a lot of laps trying to come through the field. I’ll put my head down for it!”

Yuki Tsunoda

Sprint – Pos. 8th

“First of all, happy for the team, and congrats to them and Daniel for today’s Sprint race! For me, it’s very mixed feelings; I lost the battle against Lewis (Hamilton) in the end. If he didn’t get a penalty in the Sprint, I would be P9, and even though the final result was P8, he did a very good job of overtaking me. If I had defended better, I think I could’ve finished ahead of him at the chequered flag. It is frustrating as a driver to lose a battle, but I did enjoy it, and something I can learn from. As a driver, I’m not fully happy, but I’m happy to pay back to the team and score a point, especially after not being able to put it all together yesterday to extract the performance of the car.

Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:28.423, (Q2) 1:28.167, (Q3) 1:28.192, pos. 10th

“I’m happy I can start the race in the top 10, and a better position than in the Sprint. Qualifying wasn’t the best for me personally, but we still got to Q3. I never felt very proud of my lap, I didn’t make any big mistakes but I could’ve done better overall. It’s something else to learn for the future. The team did a fantastic job and I felt comfortable and confident in the car from FP1. Yesterday, I wasn’t able to extract the performance, but I’m happy because I feel I maximised the strong performance of the car more today. After today’s Sprint and our race performance, I’m looking forward to tomorrow!”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405040530 // Usage for editorial use only //

Guillaume Dezoteux (Head Of Vehicle Perfomance)

“A rollercoaster for us today and overall, a very positive result for the team as we score six points and increase the gap to our direct competitors in the Constructors Championship. The Sprint race this morning has been fantastic. Daniel had a good start and managed to gain a position down to Turn 1. He was then passed by Perez but managed to keep Sainz behind for the entire race. His defence has been extremely strong, keeping the fight clean and he secured a fourth position, which is an amazing result for us. Yuki also had a good Sprint despite starting further back in P15. We put him on the softs to learn about this tyre compound and to attack at the start. He gained five positions in the opening lap due to incidents happening in front of him. On Lap 14, he managed to overtake both Hamilton and Magnussen for eigth position, fighting for one point. Hamilton overtook him on the last lap, but we got the position back as Lewis was penalised for speeding in the pit lane during the Safety Car period at the start of the Sprint.

“The qualifying session this afternoon was difficult and it was a challenge to find the right balance for extracting all the performance from the cars and the tyres. Daniel started well, but in his last lap, he had a poor exit out of the last corner and lost a lot of time. It means he got knocked out from Q1, which shows once more how tight the competition is. Yuki drove a strong qualifying session and reached Q3 again, and that is a great result. It still appeared difficult to put the perfect lap together, but our first analysis suggests it was tricky for everyone out there. Tonight, we will look at various scenarios for tomorrow’s race. For Yuki, we will probably favour a more conventional strategy focused on the best race time and fighting the cars around us, while for Daniel there is scope to take more risks and try to use the pace of the car to gain positions. Our car is improving and the drivers and the team are super motivated to bring home some more points tomorrow, so let’s bring it on!”

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