Red Bull race pace stronger than qualifying – Ricciardo

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo expects Red Bull to be more competitive in Sunday’s race than it will be in qualifying.

Speaking ahead of the first race weekend of the year Ricciardo told reporters: “I think the long-run pace will be better for us.”

“The short runs are going to be a little bit more… I think qualifying we’re not going to be as strong. But long runs, we should be good.”

While Red Bull expect to remain at a disadvantage with their TAG Heuer-branded Renault engine, Ricciardo said his impression of the team’s chassis from testing is positive.

“I’ve driven a few years now in F1 and I know what a good car feels like so at least with us I know at least from testing I can take out that our chassis is pretty good,” he said.

“What’s still unknown is what Seb [Vettel] and Lewis [Hamilton] are saying. Are they hopping out of their cars saying ‘this chassis is a lot better than last year’ as well? So I still expect them to be the front-runners, Ferrari and Mercedes, at the start of the season.”

“Me knowing what I know from previous years I think we’ve started off with a good chassis and as we’ve done in the past we can keep improving that. If we can improve that along with the power unit this year then by probably the second half of the year we should be able to maybe challenge them.”

“But again it’s still really guesswork, it’s not numbers, it’s not like they all add up to a victory at the end of the day, it’s still a bit inconclusive until we get going for the first four or five races.”

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    5 comments on “Red Bull race pace stronger than qualifying – Ricciardo”

    1. Speaking of qualifying, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecast ( for Saturday is now:
      “Cloudy. Medium (40%) chance of a shower in the morning AND AFTERNOON. Winds west to southwesterly 15 to 20 km/h tending south to southwesterly during the morning then becoming light during the evening.”

      Knockout qualfying may just cause a problem or two. Not that a mid-qualifying shower was trouble-free anyway…

      1. @kazinho Weather along with the new Q-format will shake up the grid I expect and that will immediately raise the expectations for following races.

    2. I suspect their long runs might be better but still 1/2 second off of Mercedes long run pace, so “better” might prove to be quite relative.

      3 days till we find out

      1. @dbradock It is relative. I seriously doubt Ricciardo is implying that they’ll be a match for Mercedes in the dry in race conditions.

    3. I would love a wet qualifying on Saturday. Bring out the men from the boys.

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