SINGAPORE, September 21st, 2013 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) - For the fifth time in six races Daniel Ricciardo has featured in Q3, qualifying ninth for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Ricciardo set a time of 1:44.439, 0.157 seconds shy of eighth-placed Jenson Button.
Featuring in Q3 has become something of a habit for Ricciardo at Toro Rosso, who has displayed an improvement from his 2012 performances.
“It’s nice to stay in qualifying for that full hour again. It’s always nice, we’ve made a good habit it of it lately. Looking over to last year, I think two Q3s all year but this year we have had a pretty good run.”
A large package upgrade has been brought to Singapore by Toro Rosso which Ricciardo believes has strongly benefited the car's performance.
“We brought quite a lot (of upgrades) actually. The team is trying to bring in new bits and pieces every race but this one was more than one piece; bodywork and a few other things. It’s definitely kept us in that top ten window.”
Prior to the weekend’s action, Ricciardo felt the circuit would not suit the car, which has left the Australian feeling surprised.
“Really pleased the team is showing progress. This isn’t a circuit we expected to be that strong so I’m happy with that. Hopefully we can put it into some great race pace as well.”
Ricciardo wary but hopeful
Ricciardo opted to run in Q3 which leaves him wary of the likes of Niko Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen who have a tyre advantage heading into the race.
“Hopefully the guys who went out in Q2 don’t make too much use of those supersofts, whenever they decide to put them on.”
Nonetheless, the Red Bull-bound driver remains optimistic for Sunday’s race.
“If we can stay in the points that’s what we have got to aim for. I don’t expect it to be our easiest Sunday but at the same time we qualified in the top ten because we have the pace. If we can use it in the right way then we should stay there.”