Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Suzuka, 2019

“Monkeying around” put Renault pair at risk of row nine start

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

The Renault drivers will start the Japanese Grand Prix from 17th and 18th on the grid if qualifying cannot be run on Sunday morning.

Chassis technical director Nick Chester said the team’s tactics in second practice left their drivers stuck in traffic and only ahead of the Williams pair on the timing sheet. This could be a problem for the team as the second practice times will set the grid for the race if qualifying cannot take place on Sunday morning.

Qualifying has been postponed to 10am local time on Sunday due to the threat from Super Typhoon Hagibis. But with the race due to start just over four hours later, the organisers only have a narrow window to run the session in.

While most teams ensured they set quick times early in second practice, Renault left their runs on soft tyres until the end of the session. Chester admitted this made it difficult for their drivers to get a clean lap in.

“Our pace on the long runs is actually looking pretty good,” he said, “but we weren’t able to show our speed on the low fuel runs at the end of the session.

“We got stuck in traffic around others who were on long runs, so ended up monkeying around a little bit.”

Daniel Ricciardo was the quicker of the team’s two drivers in 17th place.

“We obviously expected to be further up and I think we have a car to be further up,” he said. “But we got a little bit out of sync at the end there trying to get the laps in when others were on their long runs and I was just caught up in a queue.

“Otherwise I think generally the afternoon was better. The morning wasn’t that strong, I wasn’t too too comfortable with everything and with the car and I felt we were quite a bit off so we did make progress this afternoon.”

Ricciardo admitted he is concerned about having to start the race from the ninth row of the grid. “Hopefully the weather is good enough on Sunday morning to qualify, that’s the main thing, and then we can an obviously race. If it’s not then we start 17th and 18th but we’re not gonna think about that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on ““Monkeying around” put Renault pair at risk of row nine start”

  1. A somewhat frightening aspect of this whole weather driven situation, is that there will be some folks at Liberty saying …. “Hey … this is really exciting stuff. We really can do qualifying on Sunday and get rid of Friday running all together”.
    Alternatively. the suggestion will be made to open up the last hour of final practice for setting qualifying times.
    Could be worse, use the final hour to set the grid for the 20 lap Qualifying Race. In reverse order of course.
    Maybe we will get to see DR and NH doing a charge through the field on race day.

    1. Charge through the field with a renault? Sorry, I don’t have the same faith in that team!

      1. I’d say more like slowwwwwwwly make up some places across the whole race arc.

  2. Well, if they indeed were to end up P17 and P18 on the grid for the race, then they’d have no one but themselves to blame, LOL.

  3. I really don’t understand Renault. They are so frustrating. This was just another amateur mistake from them. Everyone else thought oh gosh what if it rains later in the session I’ll set a qually (ish) laptime just in case at the begining of the session. Not Renault. Duh there are times when it can be worth doing an alternate strategy and times when it’s good to be conservative. They really have to stop trying to be so clever all the time. Being a Danni Ric fan is incredibly frustrating right now.

    1. Well said, it seems they often end up on the wrong side of their decisions. Whicj, with proper evaluation should lead to: don’t go there, keep it simple and clean. But somehow they have never gotten to that point.

    2. Seconded

    3. But they do not need competition, they heve abiteboul.

    4. Renault have probably been worse than Ferrari the past few years in terms of mistakes and just bad decisions, but people don’t notice as much because they’re not going for wins.

Comments are closed.