• Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Ricciardo praises Toro Rosso progress

ESPN Staff
April 13, 2013 « Massa expected more in qualifying | Webber excluded for lack of fuel sample »
Daniel Ricciardo secured his first top ten grid slot since Bahrain last year © Getty Images
Related Links

Daniel Ricciardo has praised Toro Rosso's progress after he qualified seventh for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The result is Ricciardo's best grid position since he started sixth at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year and comes after a disappointing start to the season for Toro Rosso. The team has scored just one point in the opening two races courtesy of a 10th place for Jean-Eric Vergne in Malaysia, and Ricciardo said his high grid slot is reward for a lot of hard work.

"It's really nice to be back in Q3; it's nearly a year ago that I was in the top ten," Ricciardo said. "Bahrain was the last time, so it's good to be back. The first couple of weekends haven't gone to plan by any means and it's good for the guys as well, they've worked hard on the car to not only make it reliable but also make it quicker. It's the best of both worlds at the moment and it's just about putting the session together, that's how we did it today. Yesterday was probably the best Friday we've ever had in terms of how we work together as a team and I think that's shown today as we keep progressing as a team."

Ricciardo himself is yet to finish a race this season but he said the aim would still be to consolidate a place in the points.

"We've started on the right foot; we did a really long run yesterday as well - I think in FP2 we got nearly 40 laps - it's getting close to race distance and the car was looking good. I don't want to put the curse on it but we're definitely going to try and see a chequered flag tomorrow and hopefully in the points as well.

"The long run yesterday didn't look bad and our short run pace wasn't as good as it was today so if we can keep the long run pace we had and obviously hold position at the start then I think we'll be looking good."