AUSTRIAN GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 5th* 1:04.896 (Practice 3 – P6 1:05.896)
“It’s a bit tricky out there. This year the track has a lot of grip on it and that kind of makes it harder. You feel you can push more but it’s easy to go over the limit because we carry so much corner speed. We all obviously love going fast and want more and more, so we end up getting greedy and then mistakes happen, but that makes it exciting. Of course it would have been nice to finish that last lap but in the end I’m happy with the top five and we’ll move up to fourth because of Lewis’ penalty. All in all it was a pretty good session and I’m relatively happy. I believe there is a bit of rain coming tomorrow at noon so it should be interesting and not that straight forward. Lewis will try to come up the ranks as well so it will be exciting.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 6th*, 1:04.983 (Practice 3 – P5 1:05.784)
“You can never predict qualifying but it was reasonable today. I hoped for a little better balance in the car but overall it was not too bad. I tried a lot of different lines at turn three and all the time I was losing the rear of the car. On my final run I was gaining time but I didn’t get DRS down the straight as Grosjean was stopped on track. You lose easily two and a half tenths on that straight if you don’t have DRS. I tried to get a little more out of the next corners but I picked up the throttle maybe a little too early at turn seven and lost the rear. Tomorrow I don’t think we are quite there in terms of speed to fight with Mercedes and Ferrari, but as we have seen a lot can happen in the race so anything is possible. If there is a bit of a mix of conditions that could be good for us and with a good strategy you never know. There is a lot of orange everywhere in the grandstands which is really nice to see, so we will try and put on a good show for everyone.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “It was a slightly anti-climactic end to an exciting qualifying here at the Red Bull Ring. In the end, unfortunately the yellow flags, initially for Grosjean, and thus DRS switching off, prevented everybody from the opportunity to improve on their times. Particularly Max, in trying to make that time up he obviously got a bit too deep into turn 7 and that was the end of qualifying. Daniel did a good job with the first run to qualify fifth, and fifth and sixth, which become fourth and fifth on the grid due to Lewis’ penalty, sets us up for an exciting race with potentially a bit of weather around tomorrow. Looking at the grid we hope to have a part to play in the result in front of our home crowd in Austria.”
*Due to penalty to Car 44, Car 3 will start the grand prix in P4 and Car 33 in P5.
Luck of the Draw
Everyone likes to say there’s no such thing as luck in F1 and that outcomes are the result of deep research, intense analysis and careful strategising. As our new quiz reveals that’s a complete load of old rubbish. We present our team personnel with a set of 50 questions, the order of which shifts with each race, they choose 10 and have to answer them, no matter what. Tough, easy, personal and just plain weird, what they get is down to the luck of the draw. This race’s lucky dipper is Controls Engineer Michael Manning.
- What’s your ideal holiday destination?
It’s a place I’ve already been to, it’s called Jericoacoara, it’s in the north-east of Brazil. It’s a beautiful place where all the streets are sand, it’s in a national park. The weather is beautiful, the food is great, the people are fantastic, but most importantly the wind is very constant and I love kitesurfing. I went there last year with my girlfriend Lisa and it was amazing, a magical place.
- What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
That’s quite tough. I read a lot of random books. Most books I like are quite technical but I think the best book I’ve ever read – and this is such a cliché – is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I really like statistics and how the world works and in Outliers the idea is that in a lot of sports or professions people are seen as being incredibly gifted but a lot of the time it comes down to hard work. I like that in the sense that in engineering I don’t believe there is such a thing as luck, you can always trace it to something. If someone finds something in a car that allows them to be better than is expected then there is a reason for it. It takes an incredible talent to get the most out of something but that’s usually down to years of hard work, you don’t just luck into it.
- If you could go back in time where and when would you go?
I think I would like to go back to the 1960s, to see the change in social attitude but also for the racing. It was just pretty cool back then. Although it was the pinnacle of motor sport at the time, a lot of the stuff you read about and hear about when you talk to people from that era, it feels a lot like what you do now in amateur rallying in Ireland, where I’m from. That’s not disrespectful, I love that kind of motor sport! It was a small group of people, they were in involved in a lot of different areas and things were developing so quickly that you could have such a big influence on the development of the cars.
- What’s the best advice you have been given?
Never be afraid to trust your instincts. That came from one of my first bosses in F1. The point he was trying to make was that if there is a problem on the car at the track, you never have the 100% of what you need to make the correct decision, but if you don’t make a change you are going to be stuck with that problem. So if you are pretty sure this is the change you should do, trust your instincts.
- What’s your favourite smell?
Fresh cut grass. A lot of people like it but it reminds me a lot of home. I grew up on a farm in County Cork, Ireland, a place called Kilmore near Bandon. My brother farms now, but that smell just reminds me of home a lot.
- What’s the worst job you’ve done?
I’ve liked most jobs I’ve done. I generally like working but I think the worst, not in terms of the work, but the hours, was my internship. It was a fantastic experience working with Daimler but it was there that I realised that I don’t fit the 9-5 role. We were limited to 35 hours a week, so myself and my supervisor used to pop out and then go back and work more! He was doing his PhD on the project we were on and I was an intern wanting to learn as much as possible, so the 35-hour week frustrated me a lot!
- If you could learn a new skill overnight what would it be?
A language. Without doubt. I find it very difficult to learn language and in this sport I think it would really help to have French, German or Italian. But in all honesty I’d rather have Spanish, because I love South America and travelling, plus some of my best friends are Spanish.
- Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
My car. It’s a Jaguar F-Type. I had the same car for eight years, a Lotus Elise, and it was a lot of fun and I found it a very beautiful car. It took me a long time to find a car I wanted to buy after that, rather than a car I should buy. So after I bought my apartment I thought ‘right, I’ve made a sensible investment, now I’ll buy something’ and the F-Type was it. It’s a lot of fun!
- What’s the best meal in the world?
Kobe beef steak, which I had in Japan. I was in Kyoto. I took a week off after the second time we went to Singapore, 2009 I guess. I went to Tokyo and then to Kyoto. I’d been eating a lot of typical Asian food for a while and I fancied a steak. It was amazing.
- If you were to sing in the shower, what song would it be?
I’ve never sung in the shower! If it’s like your karaoke tune, then I’ve only ever sung two things in karaoke: one was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles and the other was something by Rammstein, in Japan of all places. When we won the championship, myself, Sebastian and Michael Schumacher sang, I guess it was Du Hast!