• Malaysian GP - Qualifying

Ricciardo happy to settle for fourth on grid

Nate Saunders
March 28, 2015 « Manor granted permission to race in Malaysia by FIA | Rosberg didn't block me - Hamilton »
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Daniel Ricciardo thinks Red Bull can be happy with a spot on the second row on the grid in Malaysia after struggling at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Heavy rain hit in Q2, mixing up the order and delaying qualifying, meaning the final session was run on wet and intermediate tyres. Ricciardo managed to qualify fourth, albeit 1.3s down on Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

In Australia two weeks ago Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat struggled with the driveability of Renault's engine for the whole weekend, but the Australian says that makes the qualifying performance in Sepang all the more satisfying.

"I guess it's always a bit more tricky in the wet," Ricciardo said. "Nonetheless I can't really complain, from where we are now compared to Melbourne is night and day difference. We've made the best step we can ask for in a two-week period so if we can keep building on that we're going to be looking good in the not too distance future."

"If Seb [Vettel] was within half a second we'd be looking good but he is still a bit too far in front [for front row]. We've still got work to do. Positives are we're both ahead of the Williams and we know where we can improve, so it looks OK."

Ricciardo says the Renault power unit is one area Red Bull has seen big improvements.

"The main one is through driveability and through power. It's just been consistent from Friday morning until now, every session we've done has been the same, whereas in Melbourne it was different and we would get bigger hesitations on throttle in different parts of the track. It was unpredictable where now at least, though it's still not perfect, it's a lot better and it's at least consistent."

With rain playing a part in his position on the grid Ricciardo admits he would welcome a similar downpour on Sunday.

"I won't be disappointed if it rains. In the dry I don't think we would have been fourth today so obviously we're a little bit more competitive in these conditions. But in saying that I think we're close enough to the front that if we get a good start and use my mirrors for 56 laps we could do pretty well!"

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