Daniel Ricciardo called his Spanish Grand Prix qualifying performance a “mini breakthrough,” as the new McLaren driver is finding more confidence in his Formula 1 car after new upgrades were implemented by his team.

Ricciardo qualified sevent for Sunday’s Spanish GP, outqualifying his teammate Lando Norris by four tenths of a second.

When asked about what the improvements were from Friday to Saturday in qualifying, Ricciardo said “probably the set-up, which then allowed me to drive better and more confidently.

“The car was tricky yesterday, I just didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in the high-speed stuff, to be honest.

“So, I think that showed today. I think in sector one we were pretty quick, I went purple a few times.

“Once you get into one, you pretty much just jump on the throttle and hold on. And so I certainly had the confidence to hold on to it today.

“And we brought some updates. And I think basically, we improved the set-up to make the updates work today. So that was probably when we found the pace.”

When asked if his qualifying performance was a breakthrough, Ricciardo said not quite, as he still has to gain confidence in some corners on track. Still, he qualified it as a “mini” breakthrough.

“There are still some corners on track, which I’m still finding my way at, so to speak. So it’s a mini breakthrough, let’s say that.

“The narrative for sure has been it’s taken time to get up to speed and also I think Lando has been driving exceptionally well. So these two factors have been challenging, I guess.

“It’s certainly a more positive day and in saying that, there’s still a little bit of what could have been because we missed the last run [in Q3]. We ran out of time.”

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