Daniel Ricciardo: “Hopefully tomorrow we can stay at the front”


Strong performance from Daniel Ricciardo on the opening day of practice in Baku Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo finished both sessions of the opening day of practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in the top three, much to the delight of the Australian.

The Red Bull Racing driver finished Free Practice 2, only four tenths of a second behind team-mate Max Verstappen. Despite most of the drivers experiencing low grip conditions for the majority of the session, Ricciardo had a relatively good session to set a time of 1:44.880s.

Ricciardo wasn’t fully content with the RB13 during the first session, with him making improvements ahead of Free Practice 2, he was generally a lot happier after this performance.

“It’s been a good day for myself and Max,” said Ricciardo. “Great that we were in the top three in both sessions.

“Even though I was second fastest this morning I wasn’t fully content with my session and I knew there was still room to improve in myself and the car. I believe we made those improvements this afternoon and I’m generally a lot happier with where we ended the day.”

For the second session, Ricciardo continued his strong performance, as he finished in third with a time of 1:43.475. This performance meant Red Bull are having a strong weekend, as Verstappen finished both sessions on top of the time sheets. The Baku Street Circuit is a pretty high risk circuit in terms of mistakes, with there not being much room for error.

The Australian believes this performance is no celebration, as anything could happen tomorrow, but he is hopeful that Red Bull can stay at the front.

“This afternoon was a lot more entertaining,” added Ricciardo. “The grip was coming and you could really start to push the car.

“There’s not much room for error and it’s a pretty high risk circuit in terms of mistakes but that makes it really challenging and rewarding. When you are able to put in a good lap you cross the finish line and smile. Like always, we should not celebrate on a Friday but we are in the ball park, so hopefully tomorrow we can stay at the front.”