Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2018

Ricciardo to avoid penalty despite failure in qualifying

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says he won’t have to take a further grid penalty despite the power unit failure which prevented him from reaching Q3.

The Red Bull driver qualified 15th for the race having been unable to set a time in Q2.

“The good news is I don’t have to take any penalties tomorrow,” he said. “It won’t get worse.

“It was a throttle actuator, basically it broke. As soon as I went on throttle I knew something was up. It sounded ugly. And then when we tried to start it up, one of the bits was broke. I would have preferred it happen in practice or something.”

However Ricciardo admitted he is concerned it will be difficult to make up places in the race from his compromised starting position.

“Once you get the start done you can hold pretty strong to your position here. I don’t know how fast Seb [Vettel] will get through the field. It’s not going to be easy coming through for him I don’t think. Although they do have awesome straight line speed.

“I’ll have better pace than the cars around me but I’m not going to be driving by them easily. I’d love to say I am but I think realistically it’s going to be a pretty long old race. I’ll do what I can but I’m not expecting it to be too crazy.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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 “Ricciardo to avoid penalty despite failure in qualifying”

    1. Given the pace advantage the RBR car has over the cars of all the other teams except for Mercedes and Ferrari, 6th should be rather easily reachable on this circuit, as well as, it was in Sochi even though, on paper, overtaking is easier there than around this weekend’s venue, but still.

      1. starting on the hardest tire.. long first stint.. building up gap when others pit and voila.. top 6 available for the taking.
        Let’s hope his start is better then the last races.

        1. It will be much warmer on Sunday, so the Soft or even the Medium could be the tire of choice. If the Medium is indeed the best tire to race on it gives him an advantage over the front runners, even those on Softs.

    2. Dan isn’t having too much luck since Monaco really, very frustrating but hope he has great race tomorrow. P5.

    3. I love Ricciardo for his easy going persona and his ability to keep a positive attitude even when things don’t go his way.

      When he lost it in pit lane and his attitude he had when he came out for the interview showed that even the Honey Badger has his breaking point. It sucks that it had to be his qualifying session that finally broke him. Catching a break is not something that will seemly reward him this late in the season.

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