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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo refuses to blame RB strategy for Tsunoda defeat

Daniel Ricciardo is focusing on the positives after being defeated by Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo Qualifying Japan
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo has conceded that missing out on a place in Q3 by just 0.055 secs was "semi-painful", although is refusing to use RB making him sit out first practice as an excuse.

Ricciardo's final lap in Q2 was provisionally good enough for P10, only to be demoted to 11th after Yuki Tsunoda sealed a place in Q3 for the third consecutive race at the death.

It was the latest intra-team defeat for Ricciardo, who effectively missed the entirety of Friday's running.

RB opted to field junior driver Ayumu Iwasa during FP1 in place of the Australian who then only managed nine laps in second practice due to showers disrupting the session as the track was too damp for slicks but not damp enough for intermediates.

Final practice was Ricciardo's only dry running at Suzuka ahead of qualifying at the end of which he was naturally dejected after going so close to beating Tsunoda.

"Personally, obviously, there is that frustration when you just miss out," Ricciardo told select media including RacingNews365. "When I could see on the board I was 10th, I knew there were a couple of cars to come.

"So it was close and that's frustrating, but it's also encouraging because it has been, certainly, for whatever reason, a tricky start to the year. And I think with that, though, I can't take anything away from Yuki, I think he's also been driving very well.

"So it's probably two parts to that. I don't want to use yesterday as to why I'm half a tenth off. It's not because of yesterday, but it certainly made today a bit tricky for us. So I think in those circumstances, we also did quite well to recover what we did."

Engineer trying to focus on positives

Ricciardo had to be reassured by his race engineer that, given the circumstances, P11 was a positive result.

The eight-time race winner is also now trying to focus on the positives ahead of the race, which he is optimistic about.

"From that as well, that's encouraging," added Ricciardo. "For the race, I actually feel quite good. I haven't really done a long run, but I'm trying to keep it positive.

"My engineer, I could feel he felt like me, but he was also trying to be realistic and appreciate that we actually did quite a good session.

"So we just use these little smiles and positives now going into tomorrow, but it's semi-painful. But there is also some satisfaction in the result."

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