On a circuit where incidents are common and overtaking is always possible, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo thinks he can make good progress from his 14th place start in Canada. If he stays out of trouble…
This is your second best starting position of the year and you’re six places higher than your team-mate, Jean-Eric Vergne. You must be happy with that?
Yeah, I was pretty happy with my lap. I think one minute, 15.0 seconds was the best I could've got out of this car. I’m 99.8 per cent convinced of that. No, I’m happy really. To be in front of rivals who I believe are definitely quicker than us at the moment is a good result. Obviously, 14th isn’t setting the world on fire, but it’s a good result.
How is the car feeling around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
We’re making progress, which is good. This is another circuit I like, so I was always hoping for a good result here and I think we got that to some degree. I also believe the race pace can be stronger. I didn’t do any race runs on Friday, but Jean-Eric did, and considering how off the pace he was in the qualifying runs, he was much more competitive on high fuel. Given I’m quicker than him in qualifying, if that trend continues in the race, I should have a strong pace.
It’s unpredictable, though. Race day is meant to be the hottest day of the weekend. If that’s the case, it’ll probably throw one-stop strategies out the window. Normally, when it’s hotter we get a bit more rear degradation. If that plays out, then I think two stops will be the scenario here and we’ll probably try to look after the rears better. But generally, who was quick on Friday will probably still be quick on Sunday and our pace wasn’t too bad.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve tends to throw up incident-packed races. Can that play into your hands?
Well, the first thing is to keep your nose clean and then if the opportunity presents itself, go for it. But yeah, Canada’s always had some crazy races, whether it’s wet or dry. There’s always a few retirements and incidents. So, stay clean, but attack when necessary. It’s a good circuit for overtaking, too. However, those walls are pretty close here and if you make a small mistake you’ll pay for it. You can go forwards or backwards in the race pretty quickly. It's good, though, starting where we are. It gives us hope for the race.
Are you enjoying the track's mix of high-speed straights and hard-braking corners?
I love it. It’s fun. It’s a bit like a go-kart circuit with the chicanes and jumping the kerbs. It’s a little bumpy in some areas, too, which is also fun. Sometimes it’s a bit boring when circuits are perfectly flat. I like it, it has character. Like I said, it reminds me of a go-kart track and if you talk to most of the Formula One guys then they’d all say that if Formula One wasn’t their favourite type of racing then go-karting would be.
Also, you’re brushing close to the wall, which is always a really good feeling. I had two brushes with the wall this morning but I kept clean this afternoon. If you’re not close, you’re not fast I guess. You need to push the limit and that’s what we’ll do.
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