Daniel Ricciardo out qualifies Yuki Tsunoda for China Grand Prix sprint race

Daniel Ricciardo has taken the chocolates over his teammate Yuki Tsunoda for the first time in 2024.

Through the opening four races of the Formula 1 season, Tsunoda has topped Ricciardo in every qualifying session.

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That all changed in China at the Shanghai International Circuit as the Aussie got one back on his fellow Visa Cash App RB driver.

After a one hour practice session, the teams launched straight into qualifying for the first sprint race on the calendar.

Ricciardo has struggled to keep pace with his teammate in the early stages of the season, but he defied the critics by registering an opening lap time that had him just inside the top 10 which proved strong enough to see him avoid elimination.

For Tsunoda however it wasn’t to be as he struggled to find the time, clocking in half a second behind Ricciardo and finishing in 19th.

The 34-year-old Australian will start Saturday’s sprint race from 14th on the grid, finishing ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in the second qualifying session.

Formula 1 fans were overjoyed looking at the timing sheets and seeing Ricciardo’s name ahead of Tsunoda for the first time this season.

“Can we praise Daniel Ricciardo,” Sky Sports’ Nico Rosberg said on the coverage.

One user wrote: “LET’S GO DANNY.”

The heavens opened up towards the end of the second session which caused unbridled carnage in the third session for the top 10.

On a newly resurfaced track, the rain made it like ice for the drivers as they slowly skated their way around.

Lap times were being deleted left, right and centre but what unfolded was arguably the most thrilling qualifying session we’ve seen this year.

McLaren’s Lando Norris blitzed his time and sat over a second clear atop the leaderboard before his time was wiped off the boards for exceeding track limits.

It was then Lewis Hamilton who leapt over the top of Fernando Alonso to take pole. But his excitement was curtailed with stewards reinstating Norris’ time, giving the young star pole position.

“I got a bit nervous, but the conditions where you’ve just got to risk a lot, got to push and build tyre temperature,” Norris said.

“I was quick, I just kept catching the Ferrari, so I had to back off. I’m happy. Sad it’s not for a proper qualifying, but good enough.”

China Grand Prix Sprint Race Grid

Front row: 1. Lando Norris, 2. Lewis Hamilton

Second row: 3. Fernando Alonso, 4. Max Verstappen

Third row: 5. Carlos Sainz, 6. Sergio Perez

Fourth row: 7. Charles Leclerc, 8. Oscar Piastri

Fifth row: 9. Valtteri Bottas, 10. Guanyu Zhou

Sixth row: 11. George Russell, 12. Kevin Magnussen

Seventh row: 13. Nico Hulkenberg, 14. Daniel Ricciardo

Eighth row: 15. Lance Stroll, 16. Pierre Gasly

Ninth row: 17. Esteban Ocon, 18. Alex Albon

Tenth row: 19. Yuki Tsunoda, 20. Logan Sargeant

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