Not many people would be satisfied with qualifying one place from the very back for a Formula One grand prix but for rookie Daniel Ricciardo, P23 at the Italian Grand Prix represents excellent progress in difficult circumstances.
For the first time in his five-race career, the Australian, on loan from Red Bull to the HRT team for the remainder of the season, outpaced the experienced Tonio Liuzzi.
“Yeah, I’m very happy, I think it’s good,” said Daniel. “It’s something I’ve been aiming for. Actually there are a lot of things I’ve been aiming for since I arrived in Formula One and I’m slowly ticking the boxes and this is another one ticked. It doesn’t mean I’ll automatically be able to do it again, I’ll have to work very hard to repeat this but at the moment I’m particularly proud of that lap.”
'This circuit is built for fast cars and I’m having a lot of fun out there'
Ricciardo’s weekend hasn’t been the best as a series of technical issues have kept his HRT in the garage. “We missed pretty much all of Friday afternoon and we missed our option run in free practice today due to another problem so we were probably the least prepared for this qualifying more than any other this year.”
Fortunately Ricciardo does have experience of driving at Monza this season, having competed, and won, in the World Series by Renault in May. “That was a pretty good weekend as well, I do enjoy the circuit – but it’s definitely better in an F1 car. It’s built for fast cars, this circuit, and I’m having a lot of fun out there in this car.”