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Formula 1 Spanish GP

RB upgrades "encouraging" despite Spanish F1 qualifying disaster

Neither Daniel Ricciardo nor Yuki Tsunoda progressed into Q2 in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo has insisted RB's Spanish Grand Prix performance with an upgraded car was "encouraging" despite both drivers missing out on Q2.

The Faenza-based outfit had been on the up in recent races and added a number of updates, including a new floor, to the car at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

But having struggled for pace through practice, both Ricciardo and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda failed to advance through to the second part of qualifying, with the Australian managing only the 18th fastest time, a position behind Tsunoda on the grid.

On how much the result could be accredited to a lack of understanding with the new components, Ricciardo said: "I'd like to think there's still a bit more on the package to figure out, so that's something we'll keep doing but, on the flip side, I do feel like [in practice] we were much more out of balance and actually today, in quali, the car felt much more together.

"I actually didn't think the car felt too bad in quali. Of course, there are some corners where you feel it should be flat there or whatever, so you know you may be still missing a bit of load but in general it was I felt much better than yesterday.

"I haven't spoken to Yuki yet but I don't think he was too unhappy with how the car felt. I think we're just not that quick and normally, you put three sets in Q1... it never guarantees you a spot in Q2, but it gives you a much better chance and obviously, to still not make it I think it just shows that we just at the moment don't have the pace with this current config so we'll keep chipping away."

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Commenting on the work done between Friday and Saturday, Ricciardo added: "Yesterday felt like we were still trying to fight it [the car] a little bit so we did make some bigger changes overnight.

"So we probably haven't perfected it right now and maybe that's the encouraging thing but I feel like we did do a good job overnight to get the car in a better place.

"So from a feeling, it felt better today. I had more comfort and confidence in it but unfortunately on this thing, the stopwatch, we're still where we were yesterday.

"With the floors, when you get a new floor, obviously that's where these cars are so powerful in terms of the load and the aero characteristics, so it's just trying to get on top of that. As I said, I felt like we made a good step today, but when Pierre [Hamelin, race engineer] told me P18, I didn't really have anything to say on the radio because I was honestly quite surprised.

"I knew we're not going to be at P10, but I honestly thought that would have been good enough for Q2."

Tsunoda was also surprised by his final position, audibly confused at missing out on a place in the top 15 when notified during his in-lap.

"The upgrade seems as it is working as we expected. So I think package is working. It's not doing anything strange, but just purely there's something this week... and we tried multiple stuff, obviously, but wasn't able to turn it around.

"At least P16 I wanted to hear [on team radio]. But P17 was quite far away from where I wanted or where I was expecting from that lap. At least I feel able to maximise something but, at the same time, quite disappointed hearing P17 from that lap.

Suggesting the team had lacked when preparing for the weekend, the Japanese driver added: "Hopefully, it's track-specific but also, we know what we could done better to prepare this week and we know what we are missing to probably make it better from the current situation.

"But we couldn't manage to put it [together] this week at least, and that was probably the main limitation."

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