Red Bull disappointed not to be closer to Mercedes in German GP qualifying
World Champions could only lock out the third row at Hockenheim
By William Esler
Last Updated: 20/07/14 8:33am
Daniel Ricciardo admits Red Bull were disappointed not to be closer to Mercedes and only lock out the third row at Hockenheim.
The Australian had finished Friday’s running as the nearest challenger to the Silver Arrows, just a tenth behind in third place.
However, Ricciardo found himself seven tenths shy of Nico Rosberg in qualifying and not only behind the German, but also Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen.
"Yesterday looked really good for us and we thought we would get closer to the Mercs and be the second-best team,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“But the Williamses are really strong again today and Kevin just snuck in ahead, half a tenth or so in front. I thought the lap I did was pretty good, I expected to be top three, but everyone is competitive and that is what it is today.”
The result leaves the Australian hoping for rain if he is to make his way forward, admitting it may be too warm for the tyres if the race is dry.
“Let’s see what happens,” he added. “The weather is still a bit of a question mark and if it rains it will rain quite heavily by the sounds of it and that could be a bit of fun. Otherwise it is going to be a bit hot for the tyres.”
Ricciardo did at least out-qualify his team-mate for the seventh time this season, with Sebastian Vettel sixth fastest, and the German says other teams simply adjusted to track evolution better.
“I think other people were able to get more out of the track, but we seemed to stabilise around a certain lap time more or less,” the World Champion said. “I think that was the main difference.”
However, despite the disappointment, Vettel is still targeting what would be only his fourth podium on home soil.
“I’ll try, I certainly hope so,” he said. “It is a long race, anything can happen, it is not out of reach from where we start and the pace is there.
“Overtaking is tricky as we saw at the last race with the Mercedes-powered cars, they are tricky to pass, but there could be quite a lot of stops tomorrow so we will see what happens.”
Vettel’s Q3 time was three tenths slower than his team-mate's, but the German denied being worried by the deficit.
“No I think it was give and take all qualifying session,” he concluded. “The last run just didn’t seem to happen for me.”
Watch the 2014 German GP live only on Sky Sports F1. Race-day coverage begins at 11.30am from Hockenheim on Sunday