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Daniel Ricciardo crashes out of Q3 as #lewishamilton takes pole in Melbourne.
Both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers will start the first race of the 2017 season from the top ten but only after a dramatic end to the home favourites afternoon in Australia.
Ricciardo, pushing to find the limit and make up time on Mercedes and Ferrari, spun into the barriers at Turn 14 and could not post a time.
His teammate Max Verstappen will start from fifth while a positive session from Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat sees them line up in eighth and ninth on the grid respectively.
Red Bull Racing
Position: 5th, 1:23.485 (Practice 3 – P12 1:26.269)
“It’s been a bit of a tough weekend in general, I haven’t done as much running as I would have liked. Qualifying was pretty much the first time I managed to string some laps together uninterrupted. This morning we didn’t have the balance and therefore couldn’t find the rhythm, so we tried a few things that unfortunately didn’t work how we would have liked. Heading into qualifying we found some positives and built it up lap by lap, after that I kept improving, the balance got better and I managed to have a fairly good qualifying. The car is better balanced now but it is clear to see we still a have to gain a bit. It’s not just in power; we built a car that is efficient on the straights but it means we lose a bit of grip in cornering. I am not disappointed as I think this is about where we expected to be at race 1. Tomorrow it is important for me to have a quick and clean start and let the guys in front battle it out. That could then lead to some opportunities. We will keep working this evening to improve and find some more pace ready for tomorrow’s race.”
Position: DNF (10th), (Practice 3 – P6 1:25.092)
“That was a tough one today. I don’t crash into the barriers often and the last place I want to do that is at home. But I feel I crashed for the right reason, as I was basically pushing and trying to find the limit and these things happen, so let’s say I’m not disappointed by the approach, it was just more of a frustrating outcome, starting 10th instead of being under the top 5. I feel for the mechanics, because they’ve had a long week and now they’ve got a long night ahead of them. I knew the crowds would have also preferred to see me further up the grid and it would have been nice to put on a better performance than that but tomorrow is where the points are. It’s a chance to create a bigger headline if I have a good race so that’s what will motivate me to do better tomorrow. I made it a bit more difficult for myself but it’s going to be alright. To get a good start in the race will be the key. I saved a set of ultrasofts in Q2, I know that not everyone in front of me has, so maybe that gives me a chance.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A frustrating qualifying for Daniel, unfortunately losing the car in Q3 on his first run where the rear end of the car just got away from him at turn 14, and it looks like the guys have got a bit of work on tonight to get the repairs all sorted in time. Max extracted everything out of the car today. You can see we’ve got some time to make up compared to Mercedes and Ferrari but we are fifth on the grid for tomorrow’s race and hopefully we can make some progress from there.”
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