Daniel Ricciardo: “We are more or less where we expected to be”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Daniel Ricciardo was happy with his performance on the opening day of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull Racing driver finished Free Practice 1 in fifth ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen, setting a fastest lap time of 1:23.174 and completing a total of 28 laps around the Hungaroring.

In Free Practice 2, Ricciardo improved on his morning session results to finish in second behind the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS of Nico Rosberg. He was able to complete a further 36 laps for the Milton Keynes outfit and set a time of 1:21.030, only 0.595 seconds behind the championship leader.

For this weekend, Ricciardo is targeting the top three for Sunday as for the last two years, Red Bull have achieved podiums at the Hungaroring. Ricciardo believes three in a row will be nice for the team.

“We’re looking pretty good,” said Ricciardo. “We’d like to be a bit closer to Mercedes but at the moment we’re sitting sort-of second best, a bit quicker than Ferrari today, so we are more or less where we expected to be.

“We knew it would be close with Ferrari, so if we can keep our nose in front that would be nice. I think we’re in a pretty good position for a Friday. The new track surface isn’t massively different, it’s a bit smoother but the nature of the track is still the same.

“I was a little bit worried it would lose some of its character, but I think it’s still much the same. As more cars drive on the track during the weekend, it should come up and get quicker and quicker. We have to target top three; the last two years we have had podiums here, so three years in a row would be nice.”