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Ricciardo blames himself for Q2 exit

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo has blamed himself after both he and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg were eliminated in Q2 at Albert Park.

Ricciardo will start his home race in P12 tomorrow, with Hulkenberg joining him on the sixth row in Melbourne.

Speaking to reporters after qualifying, Ricciardo said: “Not ideal. Being in Q3 was really the target and half a tenth (the time he missed out on Q3 by), you can always find that as a driver, so I blame myself.

“The grip was there to go quicker. It’s always painful when you know you haven’t got 100 percent out of it.

“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. We’ll give it some tomorrow.

“I race, first and foremost for myself, but part of me was bummed for the crowd today. I know they would have loved to see me in Q3. That’s where I felt I came up short, for them.

“I’ve been impressed with how much [Renault] merchandise I’ve seen around. I’m happy Renault is taking some cut from that, I don’t, so hopefully whatever they make from that they’ll put into some new parts on the car!”

Ricciardo will at least have a free tyre choice tomorrow after finishing outside the top ten, a race stipulation he doesn’t come across very often.

“I didn’t even think of that! It’s been a while since I wasn’t in Q3 so a free tyre choice, alright,” he explained.

“You probably want star performance here. Race one, everyone is going to be keen into Turn 1, so you probably want as much grip as possible heading down there. I’ll think about that now.”

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