“I think as well lost a bit of time from the track limits, I mean, I basically I tried to take Eau Rouge full, like I entered full and I felt the car start to move, and so I had a little lift, and it just then put me a bit offline and then I was kind of on the wetter part of the track, and I couldn’t really do much more,” he explained.
“I kind of just had to let the car go. I tried to save it.”
“Obviously the result today is frustrating, disappointing and all of that. But I think Q1 I was there, the first run I was a little bit further away, and then I think that lap without the Eau Rouge thing, I probably could have picked up a little bit more time.
“I think we’re there within a couple of tenths also and excited to go in Q2 and obviously see if I can keep chipping away.
“So, I think, generally, the speed is there, and that’s important, there wasn’t too much head scratching, I think there’s still obviously things we can improve, but it was positive it’s just obviously a shame to start Sunday now at the back,” he added.
The nature of the revised Sprint format for this year means that Ricciardo will be granted a second qualifying opportunity with tomorrow morning’s Sprint Shootout determining the grid for the Sprint race.
“Right now how I feel I’m very happy that I get another chance tomorrow,” he said.
“That’s kind of numbed a little bit of the pain. And yes, I think it’s back to the laptops and get into the data. I think we’ll probably have similar conditions tomorrow so see how that puts us.”
However, the 34-year-old admits that more practice time would have helped, even if he enjoys the practicality of heading straight into qualifying after just one practice hour.
The entirety of FP1 was impacted by extreme weather conditions, further compromising the drivers’ preparations.
“It’s a challenge but it just kind of forces us to get on with it,” he said regarding the Sprint format.
“A conventional weekend is better because we can try a lot more with the set up and I can feel the car and the limits more, what does the front wing do, what does this do.
“But I like kind of just getting in and going for it, and I think that’s why with limited running I felt fairly content with the pace that I was showing. Obviously there’s still a bit more to find, but I felt in Q2 I could have kept finding those extra few tenths.”
With the rain set to feature again at varying points throughout the weekend, Ricciardo is optimistic about AlphaTauri’s prospects of producing a solid result in wet conditions.
“There’s still a bit to take from it for sure. And I think even, obviously, the lap time got deleted, but I still got another run there on a new intermediates and got some feedback where I felt I was missing out a little bit.
“It’s been positive and I think these conditions where you’re at lower grip and on the edge of the car more to still be I think we were maybe tenth or something in that session, so that’s encouraging.”
Meanwhile, Tsunoda was able to set the 11th fastest time in Q2 – but he fell four-tenths adrift of a place in the top 10.