Daniel Ricciardo is confident that Red Bull will be able to challenge Ferrari in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Ricciardo was over a second off Valtteri Bottas’ new track record time at Silverstone on Friday. He was also some six tenths slower that the two Ferrari drivers. Even so, the Aussie remained optimistic about his prospects this weekend.
“Mercedes were rapid today,” Ricciardo told reporters after the end of practice. “Normally they are quicker in qualifying, so we will let them do their thing at the moment.
“But I think on one-lap pace we can get Ferrari,” he insisted. “We can definitely improve from where we are.
“I think we have learned a lot today. In the end we didn’t get the right balance or feeling, but we will make some changes tonight and have a better car tomorrow.”
He was sure that the performance gap to Ferrari wasn’t as big as Friday’s timesheets made it look.
“I don’t think it’s 0.6s. It is more that we still need to work. They are definitely a bit quicker, and we didn’t have a great session.
“The car balance was not fantastic. It felt a bit better in first practice and we need to understand why. We’re a little bit too slow at the moment so we still need to work for sure.”
Ricciardo added that the gusty wind on Friday hadn’t helped Red Bull, but that taking Copse flat-out had still been ‘fun’.
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Ricciardo’s team mate Max Verstappen had similar thoughts about there being room for improvement over the handling of the RB13.
“I was not really happy in the second practice with the balance of the car,” he said, echoing Ricciardo’s comments.
“But yeah, I think we are a little bit too slow at the moment so we still need to work, for sure.
“I guess that’s the case the whole year, isn’t it? We’re always running a bit behind in that way. We just need to work hard on the car to find time.”
Friday’s test had shown few problems with degradation, and not a huge difference in speed between the soft and supersoft compounds. That meant there was still a lot to think about in terms of race strategy for Sunday.
“Haven’t really looked into it too much, but I think a one-stop is optimistic,” suggested Verstappen.
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