Daniel Ricciardo played down the impact of Max Verstappen’s arrival after their first day of practice as Red Bull team-mates ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen was promoted in place of Daniil Kvyat ahead of this weekend’s race, with the 18-year-old having impressed during his short time at Toro Rosso. Ricciardo admitted on Friday he sees the situation as an opportunity to further improve his own standing, but asked if having a new team-mate had given him an extra spark, Ricciardo replied: “Not really.
“I have always got a spark, so I am happy to be racing, and it is good to start on Friday. I had good energy so no more than normal. But sure everyone is keeping a close eye on the team this weekend and how Max goes. So it is cool, it is exciting for me. I am a small part of it so it is fun.”
Ricciardo was quicker by around 0.2s in each of the two Friday practice sessions but was also keen not to put any emphasis on the respective lap times.
“I don’t know, it is just practice. Sure I am aware of the lap times but it is not really looking at what he is doing today, it is just trying to get my side of the garage comfortable.
“This morning I was relatively happy. This afternoon we could still find a bit more when you look at the signs. We have some more speed to find, so we will work on that. Generally it was not a bad day, I am pretty happy with the Friday.”
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