Ricciardo delighted with top ten effort
17 March 2012 – Daniel Ricciardo thrilled Australian Formula 1 fans by sealing a top ten qualifying position in his first Melbourne qualifying session on Saturday. The Australian Toro Rosso driver starts just five places behind compatriot Mark Webber, having elected not to run in Q3 in a bid to preserve sets of tyres for Sunday’s race.
“That was nice!” exclaimed the ever-smiling Perth man. “The ambition at the start of the weekend, as far as qualifying was concerned, was to get into Q3 and we have achieved that. Before we got to Melbourne, we did not have a clear idea of how our pace would compare with the other teams. In fact, I thought Q3 might have been a little bit out of reach, so this was a really positive result for me and for the team.
“We should have a strong race, as we are in good shape, so it will be a case of trying to get the best start possible followed by a good opening lap and see how we get on from there. It will be a bit of a new experience for me compared to last year, as this is the first time I start a Grand Prix from as high as the mid-field.
“Today, we have laid the groundwork for Sunday and Jean-Éric (Vergne, rookie team-mate in 11th place) is not far behind me, which will keep me on my toes - so as a team we can be pleased with the work we have done.”
Ricciardo joined F1 from last year’s British Grand Prix, racing for HRT.