03 SEPTEMBER 2016
ITALIAN GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 6th, 1:22.389 (Practice 3 – P7 1:23.709)
“We expected to be floating around the top five and we were one thousandth of a second off fifth. It’s a little frustrating but at least there were no major surprises. Qualifying on the soft tyres would have been ideal but the pace was really high and our lap time was close to the cut off. We were forced to use the supersoft instead to be on the safe side getting into Q3. If we had qualified on the soft tyre we could have had a good fight with Ferrari but that will be a little harder now we are on the supersofts. We knew Williams would be quick around here but with DRS and being strong on the brakes we can still pull off some moves. I think we can have good race pace and it would be nice if we can find an edge overnight but either way we can have some fun and challenge for top five.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 7th, 1:22.411 (Practice 3 – P8 1:23.740)
“I’m actually pretty happy with qualifying today. I thought we would be more behind but actually everything was very tight. We lost radio communications in the end so I didn’t know where I was and when I came back and saw that I was seventh I thought that’s not too bad. We’re within three hundredths to P5 so I think we can’t complain, especially with the compromises we have to make with the downforce levels. You never know what will happen tomorrow, normally we’re a bit stronger in the race than in qualifying, so let’s hope for a good race. Of course you always want to be further ahead but we have to be realistic and this track is a challenge for us.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Mercedes were obviously in a class of their own today. At a circuit we knew would pose the biggest challenge to us on the calendar; sixth and seventh is about where we realistically expected to be. We are very close to the Williams of Bottas and hopefully at the grand prix tomorrow we can show a stronger race pace.”
Road and Track
We ask some of the people who make our team tick to pick out their favourite moments and machines in motor sport and on the road. This time it’s Daniel’s Race Engineer, Simon Rennie.
- What was the first race you ever attended?
I think the first event was probably Harewood Hill Climb in Yorkshire. I’ve got some photos but I don’t remember it that well. I must have been about five or six. I went with my parents, both of whom are massive Formula One fans. There were some road cars and little racing cars. I can remember the smell of it now; the fuel the Minis were running smelled amazing.
- What’s the most beautiful road car made so far?
I’m not sure about the most beautiful, but a car I really like is the Austin Healey 3000. I know there’s more expensive and exotic machinery out there but I think it’s just a really nice, proper British sports car.
- What’s the most beautiful race car made so far?
I’ve got two answers. I used to work at the Renault F1Team and in 2005 the last V10 car (the R25) we had that won the championships was a really nice car. Before that, when I was a kid, I remember making a model of the Jaguar prototype car from the late 1980s (the XJR9 Group C car). That was the one I picked out from the local corner shop that sold models. It was one of my favourite cars at the time.
- What was the first road car you owned and was it any good?
It was a 1988 Mini 998cc and I thought it was amazing. I had that from the age of 17, for about four years. Did I tweak it? I had a bit of chrome on it and it had white stripes to make it look like a Mini Cooper, even though it wasn’t. It had a little bit of engine and exhaust work done to it.
- What car do you own now and why did you buy it?
I have a BMW M4 and I bought it because I got a good discount on it! Before that, I had an E46 M3, which was just getting up to about 100,000 miles. I’d been really lucky with it, but it was time to get rid of that. The M4 is ridiculously quick. You don’t need to have a road car that quick. It’s almost a waste.
- When you were first getting into motorsport who were you a fan of?
It was the mid-‘80s I guess and Nigel Mansell was pretty popular in our house, so it was probably him initially. Then, my mother was a bit of a standout in our house, as she was a massive Michael Schumacher fan. I think I’m more like my dad; he enjoyed the whole spectacle more than allegiance to any particular driver or team, though he might be a bit more biased now!
- What’s your favourite circuit, in F1 or outside the sport?
We go to a lot of good places. All the ones that begin with the letter M – Melbourne, Monaco, Montreal, they’re all great. Also, Austin is an amazing city. Anywhere that the food is good I’m a big fan of; wherever we can get great local food, churrascarias in Brazil, barbecue restaurants in Austin. Like many things in my life, a lot of it revolves around food!
- What’s the one that got away throughout your career?
It’s any time where you miss the target. Satisfaction can come from winning but if your car isn’t capable of winning then you get just as much satisfaction out of doing the best you can. I do remember, 2010 in Suzuka, I was race engineer for Robert Kubica and it was when we had qualifying on Sunday morning because it had been such a monsoon on Saturday. We stuck it P3 on the grid, got a good start and we were up to second and then there was a safety car and then on lap two one of the rear wheels came off. It was very frustrating because the car was just coming on really well; Robert was doing well, so it was disappointing. Those things don’t happen very often but when they do they hurt. It’s just an empty feeling.
- What would be your race number and why?
If we could go to three digits, it would be 696 because those were the numbers of the plate of my first car.
- If you had an Aston Martin for a day where would you take it and who would you be with?
It would be nice to have a bit of a tour around the Italian lakes with my wife, just around the winding roads looking for somewhere good to eat. I’ve never been but it looks beautiful and friends really love it. A nice car to drive around a nice part of the world.