Ricciardo surprised by Williams pace


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Formula 1 - Winter Test 2. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Tuesday 7th March 2017. Digital Ref: 1784LB1D3673

Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo was surprised by the strong performance of Williams Martini Racing on Tuesday, as driver Felipe Massa topped the timing board at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.

Massa’s lap of 1:19.726, set on the super-soft tyre, was the second fastest time of pre-season testing so far at that point, just two tenths shy of the best time set by new Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas last week, and Ricciardo hopes the Grove based squad have reached their performance limit with that strong showing.

“We definitely feel we still can get more out of the car, but probably everyone can. Hopefully not Williams – hopefully that was their best today.

“Even though Williams didn’t run much last week, today they did a good run. I actually think they looked quite good.”

The Australian was just a tenth down on the Brazilian on day one of the second test, but emphasised that although the RB13 has more to give, it is certainly not holding a huge amount in reserve.

The close lap times during this pre-season test have been encouraging, with at least four teams currently in the mix at the top. That should make for the highly competitive season F1 has been crying out for over the last few seasons, which makes Ricciardo all the more excited for his home grand prix, which will take place in just over two weeks’ time.

“Ferrari certainly look quick and I’m sure Mercedes will still be very quick. I think Ferrari and Mercedes can still get more performance out of their cars.

“It’s going to be interesting. Melbourne will be a nice little story.”