Ricciardo feeling good following strong F1 Chinese GP qualifying: “My best weekend of the year” to date

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Despite all the rumours circulating about his future in Formula One, Daniel Ricciardo put in a stellar qualifying performance in China and outqualified his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. The RB duo will start the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix from the 12th and 19th respectively.

After qualifying in 14th for the Sprint, Ricciardo had a very solid race to finish P11, including a great battle with Valtteri Bottas.

He has qualified 12th for the main race tomorrow.

When talking about the weekend, Ricciardo stated that he feels like he has been in a better place with the car straight out of the box.

“Definitely. It feels like a more normal weekend. I would say from the get-go, from yesterday morning, we kind of just feel like we’re in a better place. 

“Everything came, I don’t want to say easier, because that doesn’t sound, like, that sounds too easy. But yeah, it just kind of came a bit more seamlessly so far this weekend.”

Ricciardo received a new chassis for this weekend following complaints since Saudi Arabia about his VCARB 01 package. On the evidence of this weekend, his feeling could be right.

He’s been quicker than teammate Yuki Tsunoda in every single session, outqualifying him for a Grand Prix for the first time this season.

However, more events will need to be completed before a definitive answer is given.

“It’s encouraging, obviously, yeah, we did change chassis. So I don’t want to jump on that yet and be like, it’s definitely that. I think obviously we need to prove that over the course of a few races.

“But yeah, that was obviously something we did change this weekend. And so far, it’s been my best weekend of the year. 

“So whether it’s that or whether it’s just I’ve always kind of done well around here, we’ll see. We’ll see in Miami and Imola and maybe the next few if it continues.”

When asked if the team made any other changes to the car to help with his performance, Ricciardo stated the team made only minor tweaks and nothing major as he’s been happy with the baseline set-up since Friday morning.

“In terms of, I mean, this circuit is typically a bit more of a front-limited circuit. So it is a little different to kind of probably the majority of tracks in terms of the set-up and that. 

“But it’s not, I’d be lying if I said we changed much this weekend. You know, a little few tweaks here and there, but it’s nothing crazy.”

Overall, the Australian is feeling optimistic going into the race tomorrow. Having outqualified his teammate and the fact he starts 7 places ahead of him, Ricciardo has a good chance of finishing in points if he plays his cards right and things fall his way.

The 8-time Grand Prix winner missed out on Q3 by only 0.045s.

“Let’s see. 12th is quite close to points. Long race. Feel good. Let’s see what happens. I mean, I always feel good, but feel good,” he concluded.