Daniel Ricciardo was pleased that he has taken a step forward with McLaren after qualifying seventh for the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, but he was not entirely happy with his final Q3 lap.
The McLaren driver had one of his best qualifying sessions of the season at the Barcelona circuit, out-qualifying his teammate Lando Norris, who was ninth, for the first time this year.
But while Ricciardo was happy to have finally achieved a decent result on Saturday in 2021, he was left ruing the fact he ran out of time to complete another lap at the end of Q3.
The 31-year-old was one of the last drivers to leave the pits for his final run and with the cars ahead creating gaps to ensure there was enough space to complete a flying lap without turbulent air, it meant Ricciardo failed to make it across the start/finish line before the chequered flag came out.
Speaking to Sky Sports after qualifying, Ricciardo said: “It’s certainly a more positive day and in saying that, there’s still a little bit of maybe what could have been because it’s the last run.
“We ran out of time, so it was a little bit of a Monza scenario a couple of years ago.”
The midfield is extremely tight, with fourth to eighth separated by just by two tenths of a second, and Ricciardo things that if he could have put together a better lap he may have been able to grab fourth position, putting him ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
“I think it was a tenth to fourth and I think a tenth is always there, especially when I’m still trying to get on top of the cars.” Ricciardo added.
“So maybe that was there, but nonetheless, a much better day and happier, even from yesterday and obviously a week ago, but progress means positivity.”