Daniel Ricciardo: “Top 5 on this track is very good for us”


Daniel Ricciardo is targeting remaining inside the top five for the rest of the weekend in Brazil after finishing both free practice sessions there on Friday.

The Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver finished fourth in first practice before following that up with fifth in FP2, and hopes the promising start makes for a promising weekend for the team at Interlagos.

“Top 5 on this track is very good for us,” said Ricciardo. “I’m not sure if we can expect to stay there tomorrow, but that’s definitely the target.

“Normally when we have a Friday like this, the weekend goes a little bit better. They changed a few of the kerbs in turn 2 and turn 8. We used to be able to put four wheels over the kerb and now they are a bit too high so that basically means the corners are a bit tighter. It changes the approach a little bit for some corners but the asphalt was fine.

“We should be able to do a little bit of overtaking, but I think we have to rely a bit more on strategy. It’s at least a two stop race so that opens a few more windows and opportunities. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t know what the weather’s going to do.”

Ricciardo reflected on his first running with the upgraded Renault power unit, with the Australian’s initial thoughts feeling that it does not seem to be a massive step, but hopes fine-tuning can bring more pace out of it.

“Dany [Kvyat] has the old engine and I have the new one,” said Ricciardo. “It doesn’t look like much but it’s obviously just the first day running on track and I’m sure the guys will have a look tonight to see whether there is something they can tune and for sure trying to get more power out of it.

“The positive was that the engine was reliable and we ran all day so we got good laps and good information.”