A sheepish Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to win back the positions he lost by crashing in the final qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.
The West Australian made an uncharacteristic driving error in the final stage of qualifying on Saturday, running into the tyre wall to end his session and give his Red Bull Racing mechanics plenty of work before the season’s opening Fortmula One race.
His trademark broad smile was replaced by a grimace as he explained the mistake.
“It was a little bit messy. Turn 14 caught me out. Caught me by surprise,” he said.
“It’s frustrating. More so because I don’t tend to find myself in the barriers much.
“The rear was a little bit light on entry but before I could correct it it had already gone … unfortunately there wasn’t a way of catching it and saving it.”
Ricciardo had just enjoyed his best session of the season-opening Albert Park meet.
In his second qualifying run, the 27-year-old saw solid gains and sat fifth in the order, 0.7 seconds behind eventual polesitter Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo was denied a chance to test his speed further when he hit the wall two minutes into the final session.
The spin-out left Ricciardo 10th in the pecking order for Sunday’s race, though he could drop further down the order should race officials penalise his team.
The 27-year-old said he was “physically fine but emotionally disappointed”.
“It’s put me back to 10th as opposed to fifth or sixth,” he said.
“Unfortunately there’s going to be a bit of work tonight for the mechanics.
“I feel for them … it didn’t look too pretty. There’s lots of carbon everywhere, I don’t know how deep it got in.
“I’ll work on the my job, try and keep it on track tomorrow to bring home some points.
“We’ll redeem ourselves tomorrow and hopefully repay them with a few stubbies.”