Ricciardo of Renault would have been hoping for a better start to the season at the the Australian GP but never got close.
Lewis Hamilton pipped his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Melbourne, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishing in third.
But 29-year-old Ricciardo has not written off his chances of success just yet.
“We could have got in the top 10 but I was half a 10th to get into the top three and I know that was in the car,” he said.
“I lost it in the third sector, I was down a bit close to a 10th there.
“That alone I was more frustrated with myself because I knew it was there in the car.
“I don’t think it was much better than a 10th or so but it would have been nice to get into Q3.
“It’s alright. Normally if I don’t qualify as well as I think I can I seem to carry a chip on my shoulder into the race and it normally helps me out.
“So I can use this for tomorrow.
“I think generally today I was more comfortable. I don’t think 12th represents where we are.
“I do believe we’re better. I didn’t feel the long run yesterday was great for me but the changes we made today I definitely have a lot more confidence in that tomorrow.
“Nico [Hulkenberg]’s long run was strong. I’m very optimistic for the race. It’ll just be the case of if we can pass and attack.
“I’m sure we will sneak into the points.”