Daniel Ricciardo is hoping for an open fight between five or six drivers for victory in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix after qualifying fourth at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Ricciardo arrived in Montreal keen to make up for the errors by Red Bull that have cost him a shot at victory in the last two races.
The Australian impressed in practice before putting his car on the second row of the grid, finishing fourth behind Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel in qualifying.
Ricciardo’s final time was just three-tenths of a second shy of the pole effort from Hamilton, but he was fortunate to complete his final lap after hitting the wall.
“I’m pretty happy. This weekend was steady – I think we built up to it and found a better rhythm in qualifying, and as always it’s the most important session, so I made sure I got it all together and in the end I’m pretty happy with fourth,” Ricciardo said.
“My pace is only a few tenths from pole which is pretty good around here. I was quite lucky on my last lap in the last chicane, I hit the wall pretty hard and luckily it got me to the line and I didn’t lose too much time.
“The start is important here, but you can pass. I think we’ve got pretty good straight line speed now so we’re in a position to overtake.”
With rain forecast for Sunday’s race, Ricciardo hopes that he can get in the mix for the win, but anticipates a challenge from as many as five other drivers.
“Tomorrow’s going to be cool, if not wet, so with those conditions it could be anyone’s race,” Ricciardo said.
“Hopefully it’s a five or six way fight – that could be a lot of fun.
“I think being on the right tire at the right time is crucial. It’s about being smart, but being quick at the same time, so it’s worth taking some risks.”
The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC and Live Extra from 1pm ET on Sunday.