The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team had a troubled first day at their home Grand Prix in Austria as both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo learnt the limits of the Red Bull Ring track. Both drivers were over one second slower than the pace setting Mercedes duo.
Vettel’s morning session was affected by a spin that damaged the floor of his car that also delayed his appearance in the second session. He finished fifteenth in the first session and sixth in the second, and admitted a struggle to get heat into his tyres in the cold conditions.
“I think this morning we struggled a little bit, this afternoon it was better,” said Vettel. “We’ve seen that people struggled a bit to get the primes, the harder tyre, to work but it should be a different story tomorrow when it’s a bit hotter.
“I think everyone is looking forward to a great weekend, we’re not the favourites going into this weekend, we’d love to be but we’re not quite there yet. Today was very productive, we seemed to make progress throughout the day, but if anything, the fact that this is our home Grand Prix is an extra motivation.”
Team-mate Ricciardo also had a moment or two during the day, and finished the two sessions thirteenth and eighth respectively. He believes the team has some pace to come, and he hopes his Red Bull team will be the closest challengers to the two Mercedes up front.
“We learnt actually a hell of a lot today,” said Ricciardo. “We came in the morning with a few ideas and some worked, some didn’t, as always on a Friday, it’s never really a perfect Friday. But yeah, coming into P2 we tried a few more things and I feel we improved a lot from P1.
“We’ve still got a bit more I think in our pockets, but yeah, we gathered up enough information tonight to make progress for tomorrow. I don’t think we’re as quick as the Mercedes, we didn’t really expect to be, but hopefully we can be the next best again.”