21 OCTOBER 2017
US GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:33.577 (Practice 3 – Position 9th, 1:35.723)
“I was happy when I crossed the line and could see I was fourth. But then I was only a hundredth off Valtteri so I was kind of happy but then I was like: a hundredth is nothing, but I felt with what I had that was all I could do. Q1 I was miles off the pace and even this morning in FP3 so it hasn’t been the easiest weekend up until now. The wind was a big struggle for everyone today. The track is really open and the wind blows from all directions so it’s quite strong. That factor combined with the track being a bit bumpy and slippery is why the lap times are not crazy fast this year. But then towards the end of Qualifying on the last lap we managed to find a little bit more so that was positive and I’m happy to end there. Second row is good enough to fight tomorrow.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 6th, 1:33.658 (Practice 3 – Position: 5th, 1:35,103)
“Today did not go as planned. The car balance was good so it was definitely possible to go quicker but I made a mistake. I’m not happy with that so I would class this as a very disappointing qualifying. In the last sector I lost a lot of lap time which is really frustrating, I think if not I could have been up with Sebastian in P3 which makes it even more disappointing. I had a new engine which felt ok; I need to check the data but everything seemed to work well. I qualified on the Supersoft so we will have to wait and see what I can do on that tomorrow. We have the car and the performance is there so even though I am starting at the back of the grid I’ll try to overtake as many cars as possible and move through the field. To get back to sixth would be good and anything higher would be great. My long runs have felt strong all weekend so we will see how the degradation goes and start from there.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Overall, a satisfying Qualifying, particularly for Daniel, who extracted the maximum from the car in Q3 today to pip Kimi for fourth place and take a place on the second row. Max unfortunately made an error in the final sector which cost him but it is relatively immaterial knowing he will be starting towards the back of the grid for tomorrow’s grand prix. COTA offers opportunity for overtaking, and our drivers are not shy of that, so we will be hopeful both drivers can make an impression on the race tomorrow.”
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 our Race Parts and Lifing Controller, Phil Franklin.
1. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
A Durian cookie. When I was in the factory someone brought a packet back and I opened it. The smell stayed in the corridor for a good three weeks, to the point that everyone thought that somebody had let off a stink bomb. It was so strong the smell. The odour overpowered me. The gag reflex kicked in before I even tried it. It was appalling.
2. What sort of house do you live in?
A semi-detached, two-bedroom house in a place called Higham Ferrers in east Northamptonshire. I moved in there two years ago this month, but I don’t spend much time there. I’m single but my house is in a good state, it’s clean and any woman could come around any time!
3. What’s your guilty pleasure song or band you secretly love to blast out when you’re on your own?
If anyone knows me from last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, straight away in karaoke I sang ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’. Anything from Disney I can listen to and many a time in the gym at work when we’ve been doing group training I’ll fire on some Disney. I like to get a laugh out of people when we play songs. That’s not going to help my single reputation is it?
4. What’s your favourite smell?
It’s a mixture of stuff. I like the smell of fuel – two-stroke oil. If I’m ever at a race track, two-stroke oil was always my favourite smell – in classic cars, the old oils. Then again, whenever I’m home you can’t beat the smell of a fish and chip shop.
5. What’s been your most difficult race weekend?
Anything with a failure is taken quite hard by the team, especially when you are in a good position. There have been a few where we have been doing well and we’ve been in P2 or similar and retired. A failure towards the end of the race is really hard to take. And it’s not one side of the garage that feels like that; it’s the whole team.
Personally? I struggle with the heat in Malaysia and Singapore. I don’t like being in Malaysia but I do have a 100 per cent record there in my time with the team – I’m two for two with wins and double podiums.
6. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Probably my university degree, I studied motorsport operations and business logistics. I studied that at the University of Central Lancashire. I was going to do a masters but I decided to become a mechanic instead. I went to do law and I went to a pre-University thing, a four-week thing to see if you like university, and I started doing law and I found there was a motorsport thing and I was mad about motorsport and that was it. I wanted to get involved in the business side of motorsport rather than engineering. I like the idea of the business side, the logistics, team management. Ideally, that’s the path I’d like to follow.
7. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
There are some corny ones. I like the Harry Potter books. They’re well written. I also like anything written by David Baldacci or Dan Brown.
8. Are you a good or a bad loser?
I think I’m a good loser. I don’t like losing, but I always try to look at life’s positives rather than negative, so if I lose, I lose for a reason. Even we have a retirement and everyone is down, as long as we still have one car in a race then you can still find a positive. If you get two DNFs then you have to look at why and you can even find a positive in that process. I don’t dwell on things, the minute something happens I try to move on straight away. I don’t get angry about it, maybe a 20-second outburst but that’s it. Dwelling is a terrible thing in this game; it can play with your mind.
9. What’s you ideal holiday destination?
I like somewhere hot, but being a ginger I burn easily. Can it be a trip? My ideal trip would be around motor racing, because I’m a bit of a bobble hat. It would be the Bathurst 1000 in Australia, the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and Le Mans. If I could do a round-the-world trip like that it would be great. When I started in motorsport I didn’t really want to work in F1, V8 Supercars was what I watched. BTCC, super touring cars in the late 1990s is what I was into!
10. What are the last three items you bought?
Electric toothbrush, parts for a Mini, as I have a friend rebuilding a classic 1987 Mini City E for me, and a present for my parents – a fridge magnet. Since I bought my house my parents keep buying me fridge magnets, so I thought I’d buy one for them. It was from Singapore.