Daniel Ricciardo has thanked the Red Bull mechanics for their quick turnaround with his new power unit that allowed him to get out during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Ricciardo suffered a terminal failure on his new power unit – only fitted at the beginning of the weekend – that forced him to miss most of FP3 and the first part of Q1.
He finally got out of the garage with two minutes remaining in Q1, allowing him to get out on track and post a lap time quick enough to secure him a spot in Q2.
With a 50-place grid penalty hanging over his head due to the two new power units, Ricciardo opted not to run in Q2, leaving himself 15th in the final classification.
“We had a new engine in the car this morning that lasted a handful of laps,” Ricciardo explained.
“I think the boys in the garage did the world’s quickest engine change to get the car out for Q1. The previous best was about two hours and I think the boys have just done it in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
“To do one lap was already a victory – the boys are absolute legends. I think everyone cheered when I drove out of the box and I was pretty happy with the lap.”
Ricciardo remains upbeat despite being resigned to starting from the back row, and is relishing the challenge of overtaking at Monza.
“We’ll be starting from the back tomorrow and we’ll try to make up some places,” Ricciardo said.
“The positive aspect is I like overtaking and at this track you can do it, so I’m looking forward to the challenges tomorrow.”
The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.