Daniel Ricciardo struck out early after the disastrous F1 qualifier in Turkey

Daniel Ricciardo gets everything done at Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix after an early exit in the qualifiers.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton qualified the fastest on Saturday, but a 10-seat net penalty for a new internal combustion engine promoted his teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole.

Ricciardo, coming from his two best races this season, struggled under the cold and humid conditions at Istanbul Park.

He was one of the last drivers to finish during the first qualifying session on Saturday, but as the track continued to improve, lap times became faster.

The Australian could do nothing like a procession of drivers setting faster times, pushing him down to 16th, eliminating him from the next session.

Ricciardo said he did not feel comfortable with the soft tire mass he used during qualifying.

“I honestly think we were just fighting on the soft side [tyre] when the track got a little better, “he said.

“As everyone improved, I could not really get that much more out of the soft.”

It was the first time the McLaren driver has been knocked out after the first qualifying session since round three in Portugal.

Ricciardo starts the race from the 15th after a motor penalty forced Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to the back of the net.

Bottas and Verstappen in the front row after Hamilton’s penalty

Lewis Hamilton with thumbs up to a crowd.
Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in Turkey during qualifying on Saturday. (

Pool via Getty Images: Umit Bektas


Lewis Hamilton went into the qualifying session knowing he wanted a 10-yard net penalty.

The new internal combustion engine in his car meant his best starting position would be 11th, and the seven-time champion ensured he would not start lower.

The Mercedes driver was a cut above the rest at Istanbul Park, one-tenth of a second ahead of his team-mate and three-tenths ahead of championship rival Max Verstappen, who finished third.

With just two points separating Hamilton and Verstappen in the drivers’ championship, the Briton produced the perfect lap to give himself the best chance of chasing his rival on Sunday.

“Really good work by the team. So happy with the performance,” he said.

“Tomorrow will be difficult, but I will give everything.”

Verstappen was in a worse position last time when he started from last.

But the Dutchman was able to climb to second, behind Hamilton, in what was a massive result in his quest to become champion.

The Red Bull driver said he thought it would be a struggle to fight Botta’s Mercedes and expected Hamilton to catch him.

“Lewis is getting a bit of a harder job up front, but I think it will still be pretty hard to keep him behind with the pace they showed in qualifying,” he said.

“Of course we will try everything we can, but we must also remain realistic.”


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