Daniel Ricciardo had an experimental day on track around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with the Australian driver admitted to being compromised by his car set-up and by the inclement weather during second practice on Friday.
The Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver finished fourteenth in first practice and tenth in the second, but was surprised to see the Lotus and Sahara Force India teams as high as they were.
“It is tight, and we have Lotus and Force India showing their nose which was a bit of a surprise,” said Ricciardo. “I think when we get it right, we should be in front of that but it is going to be closer than expected this weekend.
“It is cool, it is fun to have a battle and it is nice to know if you do get the qualifying lap right it can propel you a fair few places, so it will be on tomorrow.”
The Australian revealed that the team experimented with the set-up on his and team-mate Daniil Kvyat’s car during the two Friday sessions, and hopes they can get the right set-up on the car for Saturday’s running to move them further up the timing screens.
“It would have been nice to get more laps in today,” reflected Ricciardo. “We tried a set-up this morning that didn’t feel quite right, so we reverted back to a more conventional set-up in FP2. This worked better but we just didn’t get enough laps in with the session cut short because of the rain.
“We were a little off the pace today, but we tried four set-ups between the two cars; we’ll look at these and find the best compromise to hopefully propel us towards the front tomorrow.”
Ricciardo was hopeful of being able to get through this weekend and the next race in Austria without having change to a fifth power unit, which would automatically incur a ten-place grid penalty.
“We are going to try and push on with this fourth engine for this race,” said Ricciardo. “Ideally we want to get through Austria with it as well, but we’ll see how we go.”