MELBOURNE, Australia -- Daniel Ricciardo made no excuses for the spin that left his Red Bull tenth on the grid for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
On his quick lap in the final session of qualifying, Ricciardo lost the rear of his car in Turn 14, spinning off across the gravel and into the barriers beyond the run off. The mistake leaves him tenth on the grid for his home race on Sunday, with the potential for a further five-place grid drop if the team discovers damage to his gearbox.
"I just lost the rear, but it was a little bit weird," he said when asked what happened. "I felt when I turned in the rear was a little bit light, it kind of snapped a bit later. I didn't get the impression that it was going to go ... and then it was like 'oh yeah, it is going'. I tried to catch it but it was too late.
"I had a quick look at the replay and at the data, and I was pushing but I actually didn't enter the corner any quicker than I did on my Q2 lap. I was pushing but I was not over-driving to an extent where I felt like I influenced it more than I should have. Just a tough one. You are pushing.
"We are still trying to get on top of the car and all that, and still a bit of learning to do. But no excuse. Nothing really stood out. I didn't have a problem. There was no puncture or anything strange like that. I just lost the rear."
Both Red Bull drivers have struggled to find a good setup over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen reporting balance changes with each tweak to the car. Ricciardo believes there is more potential in the car, but says Red Bull needs more track time to unlock it.
"I feel there is more in this car than what we are showing, but we are not quite sure how to perhaps get there or the right path for that at the moment. It is just going to need more trial and error, more track time. So the race will hopefully give us a few answers no matter where we end up. Just to try and get those laps in and figure it out because long runs yesterday we struggled quite a bit as well, so we will see."