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Ricciardo: With Esteban’s spin I couldn’t improve

Several drivers had to abort their final runs during the final stages of qualifying for the Tuscan Grand Prix when Esteban Ocon made a mistake, lost the back-end of his Renault and spun out during his final Q3 hot-lap prompting a yellow flag in the area and a mandatory lift-off from passing drivers – game over.

One of the victims of Ocon’s errant ways was his own teammate Daniel Ricciardo who will start from P8 on the grid for Sunday’s race at Mugello, but it might’ve been fifth.

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The Australian who ended the day fastest of the Renault-powered quartet said in his post-qualy report, “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.”

But Daniel saw the bright side, “We showed pretty good pace , 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,” explained the Renault driver.

In contrast, Esteban is doing his shares no good this year as he has been too frequently outclassed bz his teammate who he should at least be matching.

He described the incident, “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,” he added.