Daniel Ricciardo has been quick to accept the blame for his crash during the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Friday.
The Australian driver made a mistake at the final sweeping right-hander at Suzuka, causing him to go straight on and crash into the wall heading onto the main straight. Thankfully, he managed to walk away unharmed, but it did cost him a good chunk of his planned running during FP2.
However, Ricciardo was quick to take the blame for the error, and will work closely with teammate Sebastian Vettel to ensure that he is not on the back foot for practice and qualifying tomorrow.
“I made a mistake in FP2,” he admitted. “I did a quick lap and then I was trying to get a good exit to start the next one. We were trying to cool the tires and there was a yellow flag so I was trying to go slow enough to miss it at the start of the lap, but I think the tires cooled too much and I was too hard on the throttle for the situation and lost the car.
“It’s of course not what I wanted in the first ten minutes of the second session, but I’ll learn from it. It’s not ideal as we missed running this afternoon, but Sebastian did a full session so we will be able to see his data.
“The Mercs were really quick today, we think we’re there but then they pull a gap. I think we should be able to be third on the grid.”
Vettel led Red Bull’s charge at Suzuka, finishing fifth in FP2 on Friday, but he is hoping to build on this on Saturday as he looks to extend his 100% podium record at the circuit.
“I think we can definitely do better than fifth, but we may hit the limit when we get to third!” he said. “Mercedes seem to be very quick around here but I think we can improve, especially on a short run.
“It would be nice to fight the Mercedes in the race, who knows if it rains, but otherwise we will be against Williams, McLaren, who seem stronger here, and Ferrari.”