Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo feels as though the team needs to find some more pace tomorrow if the team stands a chance out qualifying Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari.
Ricciardo was way off the pace in Free Practice One, but this session is the most unrepresentative in terms of race conditions, and so his tenth fastest time isn’t worrying the Australian. He improved greatly in Free Practice Two, going third fastest and beating Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen in the Mercedes and Ferrari respectively.
“A pretty good Friday,” Ricciardo commented.
“This morning we couldn’t really look at the lap times as we tried a little bit of testing for next week. However this afternoon we put everything in the car that we needed and it was solid.
On low fuel, we looked quite strong but I thought we would be a bit quicker with high fuel, so we still need to find a bit there. Nothing in particular, just the general grip wasn’t quite there and I was sliding around so we’ll try and find a way to keep the tyres working a bit better in the night conditions.”
Ricciardo knows that the team will have to find something special if they want to maintain their position for qualifying, as both Mercedes and Ferrari notoriously are able to turn their engines up on a Saturday. He thinks that even with their good pace today, it won’t be enough to secure a second-row start for the final race of the season.
“I think it’s still Friday numbers, unfortunately, as we were ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes today. We expect them to be quick tomorrow, so if we have the same pace tomorrow as we had today I expect them to jump us. We still need to find a bit more speed.“