Renault F1 Team faced disappointment today during qualifying for the myWorld Austrian Grand Prix with Nico Hülkenberg qualifying twelfth and Daniel Ricciardo fourteenth in Spielberg.
Nico and Daniel comfortably progressed into the second phase of qualifying and had looked set to be in the mix of reaching Q3. However, yellow flags in sector two on their faster runs meant both drivers had to abort their laps.
As a result of taking the Spec B ICE – the fifth element change of the year – Nico has incurred a five-place grid penalty and will start tomorrow’s race fifteenth with Daniel in twelfth.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.19-02, Q*: P12, 1:04.516 / FP3: P12, 1:05.514
“It’s fair to say we’ve been struggling all weekend with the car. We’ve tried everything to find the right set-up. We did make a good step today. We didn’t have a clear second lap in Q2 and that certainly hindered our chances. I think we had more left in the car, maybe enough to see us through to Q3. Tomorrow is going to be very hot, it won’t be easy from near the back but we’ll give it a go.”
*Will start the race from P15, following a five-place grid penalty for a new ICE.
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.19-03, Q: P14, 1:04.790 / FP3: P17, 1:05.878
“Austria has been one of our more challenging weekends, and we struggled all day today. It just wasn’t happening for us and we couldn’t find the pace. It’s a shame as we had a nice run of Q3 appearances in recent races. We’ll gain some positions with grid penalties tomorrow, but before then we need to find out what went wrong today.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director
“Spielberg is a tough track for us, and it’s been a difficult day. We’ve struggled all weekend with the car in the high-speed corners. We did make improvements from yesterday, but we were not quick enough today. Looking ahead to tomorrow, our high fuel pace on Friday was better than our low fuel runs. Typically, at the moment, we race better than we qualify. It’s certainly not over and we’ll do all we can to get both cars into the points.”