Ricciardo feels top five was possible
7 September 2013 – Daniel Ricciardo reckons he could have achieved a top five grid slot during Saturday's grid-deciding session at Monza if he had chosen a slightly different strategy in Q3.
The future Red Bull driver, who was backed up by tenth-placed team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne, completed two runs during the final shootout phase, but suggested that a single flying lap with less fuel could have yielded a better result than seventh.
"It’s nice to be back in Q3," Ricciardo said after stepping out of the car. "Maybe at the end, a top five finish might have been on the cards. However, we missed a little something in Q3, doing a two lap run, and with hindsight, maybe a one lap run with a lighter fuel load would have been better, but I am still happy.
"I dropped a wheel in the gravel at the second chicane which might have cost me some time. But to have both cars in the top ten on merit is a very good result."
Although similarly encouraged by the result, Vergne was also left to ponder a better outcome after running through the Parabolica gravel trap on his final timed attempt.
"I pushed to the limit on my final run in Q3 and just got out of shape, going off into the gravel at the Parabolica corner," he said. "It’s a shame, but I am pleased with P10. There is a big risk of rain tomorrow which could make life interesting, but starting 10th, a significant number of points must be our target and it’s a realistic one."
The Toro Rosso team's double Q3 showing is its first of the current campaign.