Ricciardo shocked to qualify fourth for Miami sprint after wall hits

Daniel Ricciardo says he was surprised to be on the second row for the sprint at the Miami Grand Prix after hitting the wall twice on his way to fourth place in qualifying.

The RB driver has yet to reach the final part of qualifying in either a full session or sprint event so far this season, but outqualified teammate Yuki Tsunoda for the first time in China last time out. Backing that up with fourth place in sprint qualifying in Miami, Ricciardo says he wasn’t expecting to be so high on the grid after his lap, having touched the wall on multiple occasions during the session.

“I [obviously] feel really good about it,” Ricciardo said. “It was just a good session. The Q1, run one — the first lap — I actually made a mistake so we were putting ourselves under a bit of pressure, but I found a good lap, and then Q2 I think we kind of built up from there.


“All of us… I was speaking to Max [Verstappen] just now and he was saying he was quite surprised to be P1 with his lap, and I was saying with mine I was surprised to be P4. The soft [tire] — I expected a bit more from it, but it didn’t really give that much more than the medium, so I think we were expecting everyone to go a lot quicker, but they didn’t.

“So happy with the second row; it’s awesome. I touched the wall…both laps as well, so I told the team I was definitely trying to get everything out of it. I don’t know if that made me quicker or not, but we were going for it and I had some good comfort in the car.”

Ricciardo — who has been using a new chassis from China onwards — is confident he can turn the starting position into a point-scoring result on Saturday, and is aiming higher than just holding on in the top eight.

“I’d love to be more than eighth, for sure. I’d love to get a few points from it so we’ll see what happens. I experienced it in Mexico, but just starting at the front, it’s a lot nicer than being 12th, 13th.

“Obviously it’s logical, but just from a Turn 1 [perspective] — first lap, being involved in a bit of chaos, obviously staying a bit cleaner at the front is always like a breath of fresh air. I’m sure the second row will help our cause in getting some points.”

Story originally appeared on Racer