Ricciardo: I think we can be up there

Renault form continues to be upward bound with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon enjoying strong showings in qualifying for the Eifel Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship.

Daniel and Ocon will line up sixth and seventh for Sunday’s race at Nürburgring.

Daniel was a couple of hundredths quicker than his teammate, and said afterwards, “I’m happy enough with today’s qualifying and sixth is a good starting position for us. It was a fun Saturday with a packed practice session and then a hectic qualifying. Everyone was on track at a similar time, so it was quite enjoyable. It’s not the best preparation, but we know the car well enough and we’ll figure it out for tomorrow.

“We know it will be close in the race, but I’m excited and I think we can be up there and aim for a top six finish. We’ll see how the Soft holds up as it looks like it could be susceptible to graining. If it’s dry or wet, it should be an interesting race and sixth isn’t a bad place to be on the grid.”

Esteban added, “It was a good qualifying for us today, especially after just one practice session. I’m happy with seventh. We had very limited knowledge on the track after not driving yesterday and just the one session today. We put the car into qualifying and it performed really well from Q1, and I’m pleased with that.

“We’re jumping into the unknown tomorrow as I only drove the Softs in practice and qualifying today. We’ll see how the tyres handle in the race and how long they last. We’ll see how it goes but we’re in a good position to score some good points for the championship.”

Sporting director Alan Permane echoed the positive sentiments after the session on Saturday, “We’re happy with that qualifying result. Sixth and seventh, ahead of our immediate championship rivals, gives us a very strong basis for the race. It’s been an unusual weekend so far, with an amended programme today following the lack of running yesterday.

“We did some tyre work in FP3 and we will of course be keeping one eye on the weather, even though we are expecting it to be a dry day. Overall it’s been a positive start to this shortened weekend and are looking forward to a good race tomorrow,” he added.