• Chinese GP - Qualifying

Good start key to beating Mercedes - Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
April 19, 2014 « Hamilton could have gone faster | Rosberg struggles with brakes in Shanghai qualifying »
Daniel Ricciardo beat Sebastian Vettel to second in the closing stages of Q3 © Getty Images

After qualifying second in China, Daniel Ricciardo admits Mercedes still has the edge in all conditions over Red Bull but insists it could be all to play for if he can beat Lewis Hamilton off the line.

Ricciardo out-qualified Vettel for the second time this season in Shanghai, and the third time on track if you discount his grid penalty in Bahrain. Though the rain certainly helped Red Bull's cause in qualifying it is not forecast to return in the race, which Ricciardo knows will work in Mercedes' favour, but he is still confident anything can happen if he manages a good getaway.

"I can probably do [a rain dance] all I want but it's still going to be dry tomorrow," he said. "I think anyway in the dry we still have a pretty good pace but I think the Mercedes are still going to be quicker in both conditions. We'll see, I think it's just for us to get a good start and keep the head down the straight, try and get a little more speed out of it and see how we go."

For much of qualifying it looked like Ricciardo was struggling behind the RB10 compared to Vettel, but it all came together for him at the end. Ricciardo admits he took note of his early struggles and that small changes were crucial in getting him on the front row.

"That was very pleasing to do it at the end," Ricciardo said. "To be honest I struggled throughout the session personally, I didn't feel like I was getting on top of the conditions but then the last set of inters on the last part of Q3 we managed to get a bit more out and we put a good lap together. I'm pretty pleased to be on the front row, it's a good day.

"The rest of the session I wasn't particularly comfortable, I wasn't really getting to grips with the conditions as I would have liked. But we made a couple of changes for that last run and put everything out there for that last lap, so yes very happy with that."

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