Daniel Ricciardo was surprised to qualify on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after beating both Ferraris to second place at the end of Q3.
Ricciardo posted a late lap time just half a second down on that of pole sitter Nico Rosberg to rise to second at the checkered flag.
Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel both made mistakes on their final Q3 laps, leaving them third and fourth respectively, while Lewis Hamilton was sidelined by an engine issue in Q1.
When asked where his late lap in qualifying came from, Ricciardo said: “Not sure!
“To be honest, I didn’t think we started in the best position in Q1, obviously it was a disrupted session. Just with the the balance, it didn’t seem we’d be in a fight with the front few rows today.
“Q3 we basically found a bit more speed. The option here, the super-soft, it’s a tricky tire to manage. To get the one lap out of it, it’s not exactly easy, it gets chewed up quite a bit as the lap goes on.
“I think just understanding that as the session went on, and obviously between me understanding a bit more what to do on track and the engineer making a few adjustments with pressures and front wing, I think we got a good package at the end.
“Second is pretty awesome, we didn’t expect this.”