Daniel Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg have been eliminated in the second period of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix in a disappointing result for Renault.
Ricciardo failed to improve on his time of 1:22.570 with a last-ditch attempt to make Q3, qualifying 12th for the race.
Hulkenberg was knocked down into 11th with a best lap time of 1:22.562, having remained in the pits to end the session rather than attempt a second run.
“I don’t think (our best time) was much better than a tenth or so, but it would’ve been nice to get into Q3,” Ricciardo said, promising to get back to his overtaking best in Sunday’s race with a cheeky message to the field.
“Both cars were so close to it. It’s alright. Normally if I don’t qualify as well as I think I can I seem to carry a little chip on my shoulder for the race and that normally helps me out. I’ll use it as fuel for tomorrow.
“I think generally today I was more comfortable (in the car). I don’t think 12th represents where we are. I do believe we are better.”
Q2: Full classification
New lap record for Hamilton 👊
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 16, 2019
— Nick DeGroot (@ndegroot89) March 16, 2019
The result opens Renault up to questions about their progress after finishing fourth in the 2018 season.
“I knew it was going to be close but I did believe we would have going to have the pace for Q3,” Ricciardo said.
“I don’t know deep we could have got into that top 10 but it was just half a tenth to get into Q3 and I know that was there. That was in the car.
“I actually lost it in the first sector, I was down a bit, close to a tenth there. So that alone I was more frustrated with myself because I knew it was there in the car.”
The French team were expected to remain at the front of the midfield but were outshone by Haas, who got both drivers into Q3.
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), impressive rookie Lando Norris (McLaren) and Sergio Perez (Racing Point) all beat their teammates to make it through to the top-10 shootout.
Lewis Hamilton later put his Mercedes on pole position for a sixth consecutive year, with teammate Valtteri Bottas in second.
Earlier, Ricciardo’s replacement at Red Bull failed to progress past the first period due to a team miscalculation.
FULL STORY: Pierre Gasly suffers qualifying humiliation