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Formula 1

Ricciardo admits Red Bull need to improve

Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was “frustrated” by his qualifying performance as he prepares to race in the French Grand Prix on Sunday morning. Ricciardo was 11th fastest in qualifying on Saturday but will start two places higher after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen were penalized for using new engines. The Australian was eliminated in Q2 by only a hundredth of a second, while McLaren teammate Lando Norris qualified fifth. This weekend, Kayo will be broadcasting live coverage of the F1 French GP. On Sunday, pre-race coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. AEST, followed by live racing at 11 p.m. Are you new to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Right Now > Daniel Ricciardo will take the ninth position on the grid. (Photo courtesy of Clive Rose/Getty Images) Photographer: Getty Images “It was close,” Ricciardo said, “but there are several corners where I’m offline and not really able to get [the car] doing what I want it to do.” “Certainly frustrated, especially when we’re close.” We just need to get off to a good start and hope to show some good race pace and tyre management.” In other news, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton qualified fourth but admitted Ferrari and Red Bull are in a “league of their own.” The 37-year-old British driver, who has yet to win in 11 races this season, will compete in his 300th race on Sunday knowing he will face a significant performance deficit. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez all qualified ahead of Hamilton. QUALI DISCUSSION POINTS: The duo is “in their own league,” and the Mercedes cop received a “slap in the face.” Lewis Hamilton will compete in his 300th race. (Photo courtesy of Clive Rose/Getty Images) Photographer: Getty Images “They’re in a league of their own,” Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said. “But we’re still here, and everyone else is struggling, so we’ll just keep fighting.” He was pleased to have recovered from a shaky start to the weekend, when he missed opening practice and had to “play catch-up,” handing his car to reserve driver Nyck de Vries for a mandatory session. “To be honest, I’m very pleased with my qualification. My final lap was fantastic. “ Overall, I’m not sure why the gap has widened. In that regard, they are in a league of their own.” He claimed that expectations of the latest update package bringing a quantum leap in performance were exaggerated. “When we said we were bringing updates, we only brought the tiniest thing.” “If it was perfect, it could be half a tenth of a tenth,” he said. “Last race, we were three or four tenths off, so I thought this weekend we’d be two-tenths off, but we’ve been a second back all weekend.” Hamilton’s teammate George Russell finished sixth after being outqualified by friend and fellow Briton Lando Norris of McLaren. “As a group, we’re probably a little further away from what we hoped and expected, especially after yesterday.” On my last lap, I made a mistake.” It doesn’t mean the end of the world. The gap, I believe, is more concerning than the finishing order.” The following drivers will start the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard circuit: Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) is in the first row. N.E.D./Red Bull driver Max Verstappen 2nd row: Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) Hamilton, Lewis (GBR/Mercedes) 3rd row: Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 4th row: Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 5th row: Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 6th row: Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo) Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 7th row: Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 8th row: Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo) 9th row: Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 10th row: Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) Note: Sainz and Magnussen start from back of the grid after having new engines fitted on their cars. Follow all the action in our live blog below! Can’t see it? Click here!