McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has plenty of work to do in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after crashing out of qualifying.
- Promising pace during practice sessions has not resulted in a successful qualifying for Daniel Ricciardo
- The Australian crashed out of the second qualifying session, meaning he will start outside the top-10 on Sunday
- Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed pole position
The Australian was in the second qualifying session trying to get into the top 10, but locked his tyres on his flying lap and crashed into the wall.
The crash ended the session and continued Ricciardo’s struggles in 2021. He’ll start from 13th on the grid.
Ricciardo watched on in qualifying three, seeing Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc shock Mercedes and Red Bull by taking his second pole position in as many races.
Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, who are on top of the driver’s standings, qualified second and third.
Ricciardo was hoping for a better weekend than he had a fortnight ago in Monaco, where he failed to score any points and was lapped by Norris.
He showed promise on Friday, finishing fifth fastest after the first practice session.
But he struggled for pace throughout the weekend.
Before his crash he was outside of the top 10, needing a much-improved lap to sneak into qualifying-three.
After qualifying Ricciardo said his focus had already turned to Sunday’s race.
“As soon as I turned I saw [the wheel] lock, I was pretty pessimistic I would get through,” he said.
“It’s fine margins around here. Obviously disappointed not to have got it further up there.
“Move on for tomorrow, come back and fight.”
His teammate, Lando Norris, was able to make it into the top-10, out-qualifying his more experienced counterpart for the third time in six races this season.
Norris, who is third in the driver’s championship, qualified sixth but he could be penalised for not heading into the pits immediately during the first qualifying after a red flagged stopped the session.
Charles Leclerc secures consecutive pole positions
Leclerc secured pole in Monaco a fortnight ago before failing to start the race due to mechanical issues.
In Baku, the Ferrari driver made the most of the slipstream behind both Mercedes cars during his first run in qualifying-three, posting the fast lap of the session.
A crash by teammate Carlos Sainz and Alphatauri driver Yuki Tsunoda ended the session before any other driver could try and beat Leclerc’s time.
Despite posting the quickest lap of qualifying the Ferrari driver said after the session he did not think it was his best effort.
“It was quite a shit lap I thought,” he said.
“It’s a good day. I did not expect to be as competitive as we were today.”
Leclerc will line-up next to Lewis Hamilton, with championship leader Max Verstappen behind him.
While he said he was hopeful of handing Ferrari their first win since 2019, he said he would have a tough challenge keeping the Mercedes and Red Bull behind him.
“Car felt quite ok, but I think Mercedes and Red Bull have something more than we have in the race. it is going to be very difficult,” he said.