Ricciardo: Styrian GP qualifying pace a 'mystery' after lowly P13 result

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Daniel Ricciardo was mystified by his lack of pace after only managing 13th on the grid for the Styrian Grand Prix.

The Australian has recently been showing signs of finally getting to grips with his McLaren after a slow start, including finishing P2 in Practice 2 at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.

But when it mattered in qualifying, Ricciardo was a massive six-tenths off the pace of teammate Lando Norris in Q2, resulting in an earlier than expected bath.

"It’s a bit of a mystery, actually," he said.

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"We were obviously quick yesterday. I know it’s only Friday practice, and I didn't expect to be fighting for pole position today, but obviously, we were pretty comfortable with everything.

"We put the car on track today and we are like one second slower, pretty much. So, really, then qualifying was a product of also this morning, we were just off the pace.

"So it’s another session where we’re a little bit scratching our heads. It's a bit strange."

One notable change from Friday was cooler temperatures in Austria, but that didn't appear to explain Ricciardo's dramatic drop in pace.

"We wouldn’t say there are many answers at the moment why we obviously struggled a lot today," he admitted.

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"We’ll try to figure it out, we’ll try to look forward to tomorrow now but I definitely didn’t expect to be here after yesterday.

"I didn’t think we had a perfect car yesterday but the lap time came, and today it felt like in some areas I was just driving to the limit of the car.

"I couldn’t go faster because I would basically run off the track, so I felt like I was pushing it but we were slower pretty much everywhere.

"We’re not sure at the moment. We’ll have a look at the data but as I said, not just qualifying but this morning too – it seemed like yesterday was a long time ago."