Daniel Ricciardo feels Aston Martin Red Bull Racing can interject themselves in the battle at the front of the field this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit despite a far from ideal Friday at the Chinese track.
The Australian finished fourth fastest in the morning session, just over half a second down on pacesetter Lewis Hamilton, but complaints with his brakes and throttle pedal map left him down in ninth in the afternoon, more than a second behind Hamilton.
Ricciardo feels Red Bull have a good understanding of where they are on the harder compounds this weekend, but there is still work to be done to get the best out of the Ultrasoft, the tyre everyone will use to battle for pole position on Saturday afternoon, should it be dry.
“Half of the morning and half of the afternoon were good,” said Ricciardo. “Generally with the harder compounds I was more comfortable, but once we put the Ultrasoft on we didn’t have as much speed so we need to find a bit of time there and understand where we are losing.
“I obviously know what doesn’t feel right in the car, but now we need to find the answers and change that for tomorrow. The long runs were much better and I’m confident we can find the speed.
“Overall, we aren’t looking too bad and I hope we can be in the fight with Ferrari and Mercedes.”