Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo says that despite finishing strongly in both of Friday’s free practice sessions, the team needs to find five-tenths of a second to be in the fight.
Friday saw a mix of conditions, with the first practice session being in the wet and the second session in the dry. This seemed to suit the Red Bull cars – Ricciardo finishing second in Free Practice 1 and third in Free Practice 2 – but he still thinks the team is struggling compared to Scuderia Ferrari.
“It was interesting in these conditions but it was actually nice to get these runs in the wet and dry today.” Ricciardo said.
“We were both looking pretty good in the wetter conditions and on the intermediates we were at the pace and significantly quicker than everyone else, which we’ll take.
“This afternoon we weren’t that competitive looking at Ferrari, but it looked like Mercedes struggled as well.
“If we can focus on ourselves we can still improve; on the short runs we needed to improve the front grip and on the long runs we needed to improve the rear, so we have just got to find a better compromise with the set-up. Just looking after that I think will be the key on Sunday.
“I think if we can find half a second somewhere then we’ll be in the fight, we have still got a bit of work to do but we were OK.”
Following the morning session’s wet weather, and the Red Bull’s subsequent pace, Ricciardo is hopeful that more rain will come – especially with the team’s ability to qualify well in a wet session. Ricciardo qualified third, with team-mate Max Verstappen in second, in the wet qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
“If we get some light drizzle across the weekend then we’ll be looking pretty good; I won’t complain if Qualifying and the race is wet!”