Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth in both free practice sessions at the Sochi Autodrom on Friday, and felt happy overall with his day despite feeling his Red Bull Racing team struggled to find time with the Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre.
The Australian was unable to improve his time on the softest compound as much as others, and he feels they need to find out the reasons why in order to have a better weekend in Russia.
“We had some good signs throughout the day while we experienced some drops among the peaks,” said Ricciardo. “I was pretty happy with the car on the Supersoft tyre but we didn’t find as much time as the others on the Ultrasoft so that’s a tyre we need to work on a bit.
“The balance with the Supersoft was good so I think if we can manage to get the same feeling with the Ultrasoft tomorrow then we should be looking OK. This afternoon it was also easier to get the tyres up to temperature so I think if the weather stays the same tomorrow that should not be too much of an issue.”
Ricciardo believes the strength of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and of Scuderia Ferrari this weekend means Red Bull will be unable to put in a realistic challenge to those two teams, but Ricciardo is hoping to maximise what they have.
“People keep asking about the upgrades coming in Barcelona but first we need to maximise what we have with the current car and package here this weekend,” said Ricciardo.
“We can definitely make improvements for tomorrow but as far as positions go in qualifying we are still behind Mercedes and Ferrari, so I don’t think the picture will change too much between the top teams and I would say Ferrari look the best after today’s running.”