A terrific final lap in Q3 was enough to put Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo onto the front row for the start of tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix.
It had looked as though the Mercedes team mates had done enough to produce another 1-2 lockout on the starting grid, but while Nico Rosberg’s time was out of reach of anyone on Saturday evening, Ricciardo was able to pull something remarkable in his final run to surprise Lewis Hamilton.
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As a result, Ricciardo will now start in second place alongside Rosberg while Hamilton is demoted to third palce where he will line up next to Ricciardo’s team mate Max Verstappen when the lights go out.
“The aim was to try and be on the front row,” said Ricciardo afterwards. “We knew it would be hard to try and get in front of the Mercedes, but at was nice to at least get one.”
“The last lap in Q3 was clean, probably wasn’t as good as Nico’s but it was clean and obviously good enough for the front row,” he said, adding that he was “pleased enough” with the outcome.
We made improvements for qualifying – through practice we were still trying to find some stuff with the car and it finally came good in qualifying. It got better and the rhythm throughout the session was good.
Ricciardo might have an extra edge when it comes to race strategy on Sunday, as he and Verstappen were the only drivers making it into Q3 to have done so on supersoft tyres rather than ultrasofts.
As a result, the Red Bull team mates will both start on the longer-life compound, which might give them an advantage over the rest of the field which will have to nurse the ultrasofts over the opening laps.
“We qualified on the supersoft for Q2 so we’ll start the race on that tyre,” Ricciardo said. “Obviously we feel it’s a good thing
“Let’s see if makes a difference tomorrow.”
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