Daniel Ricciardo is “proud” of Renault’s turnaround in form at the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after both cars qualified in the top ten.
The Enstone based team had a difficult start to the weekend, finding themselves in the bottom half of the field on Friday, after struggling to get the balance right on both cars, and Ricciardo suffered an engine failure in first practice.
But, the team managed to get on top of their issues, and got both cars in to the top ten in qualifying, with Ricciardo ending up eighth, while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, finished the session 10th fastest.
“I’m really happy with today’s qualifying. It’s cool for both cars to be in Q3.” commented Ricciardo after qualifying.
“We’ve made a good turnaround from Friday and that’s what I’m most proud about.
“The jump we made is really strong and encouraging and credit to the team for working hard overnight.”
Renault are still in a fight for fifth place in the constructor’s championship with Toro Rosso, and with Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat qualifying 12th and 14th respectively, Ricciardo is hoping to take advantage of the situation and score some decent points on Sunday.
“It was close out there again today but we’re in the mix inside the top ten.” added the Australian.
“There’s a bit of pressure in the fight for fifth and there’s a job to do.
“We delivered today and now we have to deliver tomorrow.”
Renault Sporting Director, Alan Permane credited the team’s turnaround to the engineers, who spent a lot of time working on the balance and tyre temperatures for FP3 on Saturday morning, and Permane believes it should give both Ricciardo and Hulkenberg a good platform to have a strong race.
“It was a slick qualifying and everything went perfectly to plan; traffic management, timings, garage turnarounds and driver performance.” said Permane.
“We did our homework and got both the balance and tyre temperatures under control for FP3 and qualifying.
“With solid sessions from both drivers and also the race crew in the garage, we can be pleased with that outcome.”