Daniel Ricciardo does not believe qualifying sixth for the British Grand Prix will make a significant difference to his chances of landing a Red Bull seat.
The Australian is on Red Bull's shortlist to replace Porsche-bound Mark Webber, along with Scuderia Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. While he is sure that his qualifying performance will have been noticed, he insists that a strong race result will be more important to his hopes of succeeding Webber.
"Obviously it doesn't hurt, but I've got to back it up tomorrow," said Ricciardo, moments after being congratulated on his performance by Webber. "It's good, it shows that when we get the car right and we get things going well we can be quick, so it's nice to confirm the speed I know I have."
This is Ricciardo's best qualifying performance of the 2013 season, matching his career-best performance in Bahrain last year. While he accepts the Toro Rosso has been strong around Silverstone all weekend, he suspects that changes in approach on his side of the garage since the Canadian GP have also contributed.
"Since Canada, I spent a bit of time with my guys on my side of the garage," he said. "We had to re-assess a few things. Things went well [here] but I think we've taken a little bit of a different approach, not throwing things at the car and just hoping for the best.
"If we feel it's going to help, we do it otherwise let's just see what happens; let's not chase our tails. Whether that's the answer for this weekend, I don't know. I think it's a combination."
Teammate Vergne qualified only 13th after failing to make the cut for Q3, the fifth time he has been beaten by Ricciardo on Saturday in eight weekends this year. But the Frenchman did look on course to make the top 10 shootout before running off the track during Q3. He did improve his time on his second flying lap of that run, but his Pirellis were past their best and he had some floor damage.
"I got some [turbulence] off Vettel and I just lost the downforce and went straight onto the grass, hitting the large curb," said Vergne. "Q3 was easily reachable, I was doing the same time as Daniel at that moment. It's a big shame."