Ricciardo not smiling as Bottas off compromises Q3 run

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Daniel Ricciardo admits he wasn't smiling after Valtteri Bottas' off compromised his Q3 run in Austria.

The Australian will start P10 on Sunday in Spielberg, but it could have been a lot better with the Renault showing enough potential to battle with the likes of McLaren and Racing Point in top six.

Instead, after a steady first lap, Ricciardo was one of several drivers caught out by the errant Mercedes, which went off at Turn 4, meaning he couldn't improve.

“I should be [smiling] but I’m not, because we got a bit unlucky in that last run,” he told the media post-qualifying.

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“Bottas went off in front of me and there was a yellow so I had to lift. I didn’t actually think he went off, I thought he’d just dropped a wheel so I was pretty angry because I thought they just put a yellow out for no reason.

“I believe he actually did go off so, fair enough, I was wrong. But yeah, what can you do in those situations?”

Even so, making Q3 was still a solid achievement in itself with four teams and Alex Albon all vying for the seven positions behind Mercedes and Max Verstappen.

Saturday was also a strong improvement on last year's qualifying in Austria, when Ricciardo only started 14th as the flaws of the 2019 Renault were exposed.

“It was nice to get in Q3. I think we’ve had a decent car all weekend, but I think we’re better than 10th, so I’m a bit frustrated” he added.

“It was pretty good yesterday. I think all weekend it has been pretty strong, and I think we’ve been well inside the top 10 all weekend so that’s why I certainly feel we could be better today.

“I’ll have to make it happen tomorrow and prove what we’re able to do.”

Despite having led Ricciardo in final practice, teammate Esteban Ocon struggled a little in his first qualifying since 2018, finishing six-tenths behind in 14th.

“I’m not very satisfied with today as it’s not what we wanted to achieve," said the Frenchman.

"I know we could have done better with what we had in hand. There were just a few little details that we didn’t get right. I want to review what happened as the gap to where I want to be is pretty big.

"We’ll take a look and keep working hard. It wasn’t enough today, but tomorrow we’ll aim to come back stronger.”