Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has said that he extracted the maximum out of his car in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
After a few difficult weekends in qualifying, Ricciardo had an upturn in form at the Circuit of Americas, making it through to Q3.
He only had one set of new softs left for the final session on Saturday, and took to the circuit out of sequence with the remaining nine rivers, meaning he had a clear lap, and set a best time of 1m33.488s to end up ninth fastest.
Speaking after qualifying, Ricciardo said: “We’ve had a difficult few weeks in qualifying where I haven’t been too happy with myself, but today was much better and I extracted more or less everything from the car.
“We’ll give it a go tomorrow, I’ll get the horns out and look to advance.”
Despite making through to the top ten shoot-out, the Australian believes it could have actually compromised his race strategy as he will need to start on the soft compound tyre while his rivals behind him will be able to start on the more durable mediums.
“We’re starting on the Soft, maybe it’s not the best tyre to begin the race, but it is what it is.
“We’re on the clean side of the grid too, so we’ll be looking to make some places there and get our heads down.”
Although Renault only managed to get one car in to Q3, with Hulkenberg just missing out on the top ten, having set the 11th fastest time in Q2, Renault Sporting director Alan Permane believes both cars have strong race pace and should be looking to finish the race in the points.
“We can be reasonably pleased with today’s qualifying but, of course, our target is to always have both cars in Q3.” Permane added.
“Our Friday high fuel pace looked very strong here, as has been the case at the last few races.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday and we’ll be aiming to maximise our chances to get both cars solidly into the points.”