Daniel Ricciardo is on the front row of the grid in China because his Red Bull is “the best chassis” in 2016.
That is the claim of the energy drink team’s surly official Dr Helmut Marko, referring to Australian Ricciardo’s surprise second place behind pole sitter Nico Rosberg in the damp qualifying session in Shanghai.
“We didn’t have it (Ricciardo’s pace) on the radar,” admitted Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
“Ricciardo is a strong driver. And the car is also good. These conditions in particular seem to have suited them,” he added.
Even Marko doesn’t disagree with that, admitting he would have liked the torrential conditions of morning practice to have carried over into qualifying.
“Then we would have been on pole. For sure,” after qualifying the Austrian is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “Because we have the best chassis.”
Marko suggests, therefore, that only the Tag-Heuer branded Renault power unit is letting the team down, even though the mistakes of Ferrari’s drivers helped with the result on Saturday.
“The Ferrari drivers did not put their laps together,” he admitted.