Ricciardo encouraged by Red Bull’s pace after topping day two

Daniel Ricciardo was in a positive mood after posting the fastest time of the second day of the second Formula 1 pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

The Australian’s soft Pirelli tyre run in the morning session saw him beat Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari by just 0.010s, but it was the time on track that pleased the three-time 2014 race winner more than the time, with Ricciardo completing a day-high 142 laps.

“We wanted to get a day with a 100-plus laps on the board and we did that and more today,” said Ricciardo. “It was very solid (and) we also got through some pit stop practice and some good long runs, which is very positive.

“I know it’s just testing but it is encouraging seeing us on top or at least in that front group. Obviously you have no idea what everyone is doing, but it is encouraging.”

Ricciardo feels the Red Bull RB11 is an improvement from their 2014 RB10, feeling faster while maintaining a similar feel to how the chassis behaves.

“The car feels good,” insisted Ricciardo. “It has similar characteristics to RB10 in terms of how the chassis feels but that’s a good thing, as I think we had a pretty good car last year. All in all a really good day’s work.”

Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin was also happy after the conclusion of the days running, especially after seeing the car have restricted running on day one after trying to tune in the new elements on the RB11 brought to the test that were not there in Jerez two weeks ago.

“A good day for the whole team today and a very satisfying follow-up to yesterday,” said Rocquelin. “Day one was all about tuning the new elements we had brought here and it was always going to be a bit stop-start but by the end of yesterday we were on top of that and running well and today was the reward for all that hard work.

“We had a small issue on Daniel’s installation lap, again caused by a software gremlin, but that was quickly sorted and we could get to work on the programme we had in place.

“In the morning that meant a lot of pit stop practice first thing, giving way to some tyre work in advance of our afternoon programme. We switched over to long runs in the afternoon and by the close of play we’d got through everything we wanted to on the day.”