Formula 1

Ricciardo will start Sunday's race from P5.

Daniel Ricciardo admits expectations are low after making error on setup at French GP

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Daniel Ricciardo fears a repeat of the rainstorm which hit in final practice could be his best opportunity for a result after going the wrong way on car set-up at the French GP.

The Australian and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen opted for different approaches with Ricciardo carrying higher downforce for more grip in the corners, while the Dutchman went with a skinny rear wing for greater top speed down the Mistral Straight.

In qualifying, it became pretty clear that Verstappen had made the right call, consistently a few tenths ahead of his partner and by the end, though both sat fourth and fifth, there was almost 0.190s between the pair, a big margin compared to most sessions.

When telling the reporters about his concerns after the session, Ricciardo conceded it was the one thing he now wants the most which actually hampered him in the first place.

"We were pretty evenly matched yesterday but it looked like the low was worth trying for sure so we put that on for this morning to try it out in FP3. [But I] didn’t get to try it because of the weather,” he was quoted by RaceFans.

Switching back to the bigger wings for qualifying, the 28-year-old then found himself with a dilemma.

“We basically had understeer quite early and we had used all the front wing so there was nothing else we could really do to address the understeer," he explained.

"The session itself was frustrating because, in a way, I was a passenger.

"Not a passenger per se, but limited with what I could improve because of the limitations in qualifying.”

F1 Grand Prix of France - Qualifying

Still, with Kimi Raikkonen having his own issues, it at least allowed the race winner in Monaco last month to move up one place.

“P5 is better than P6, that's alright," Ricciardo added.

Though many expect overtaking to be difficult in Sunday's race, the 'Honey Badger' knows he faces even more of a challenge with his direction on set-up.

"With a dry race, put it this way, I have more downforce than everyone else, therefore passing probably won’t be that easy on the straights. I need a good start and then go from there."

F1 Grand Prix of France - Qualifying

With Ricciardo unhappy with his choice, you would perhaps expect Verstappen to be more pleased to have seemingly got it right.

However, the Dutchman too had his own complaints.

“Q3 was not very good," he claimed. "I had too much understeer and it seemed like the side of the tyre was not strong enough for us.

“Then you cannot attack the curves and you notice that especially in the final sector. It just was not good enough today.”

Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull
Formula 1

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