Ricciardo hungry to return to the podium

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Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to bounce back from his disqualification at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, believing that the team is in a battle to be the second fastest team in Formula 1 at the moment.

Ricciardo produced a stunning drive in Melbourne to finish in second place on his Red Bull debut, and became the first Australian driver in the modern era to stand on the podium at his home grand prix. However, soon after the race finished, the stewards found that the fuel flow on Ricciardo’s #3 RB10 exceeded the maximum rate of 100kg/h, and called the team before the stewards.

After five hours of deliberations, Ricciardo was disqualified and stripped of his first podium finish in Formula 1. Although he conceded that it was not the fairytale beginning to his Red Bull career, Ricciardo was still buoyed by the result, and expressed his delight in an interview with redbull.com.

“Yeah – [the disqualification] put a bit of a downer on what had been a brilliant day,” he explained. “It’s not how I imagined celebrating after my first F1 podium. I still went out to catch up with a couple of mates, but it’s fair to say the mood wasn’t as wild as it might have been.

“I did a good job in the car and I got to stand on the Australian Grand Prix podium, and no-one’s taking the sensation of doing that away. What happens next is outside of my ability to control but honestly, I’d rather it went down like this than have retired from the race with a mechanical problem. I’ll take a podium and a subsequent disqualification over that any day of the week.”

Despite enduring a disastrous pre-season period, the team showed good pace in Australia, and Ricciardo is confident that he can reach the podium in the next few races thanks to the potential of the RB10 car.

“We’re in the battle to be the second-best team,” he added. “Obviously that isn’t where we want to be but it’s exceeding our expectations of only a few weeks ago. I think once we really get into the setup of the car, we’ll be able to close the gap to Mercedes.

“Albert Park’s made me hungry to get on the podium again, and I think we’ve got a really good chance of doing it.”

Red Bull confirmed yesterday that its appeal against Ricciardo’s disqualification has been formally lodged with the FIA, although a decision is not expected for at least another three weeks.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III