Finishing in the top six at the end of the tricky Free Practice 1 on Friday morning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
buoyed up Daniel Ricciardo's spirits as he and the Toro Rosso
team head into the business end of the 2013 Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal this weekend.
Ricciardo proved quite the master of the initially wet and then fast-drying circuit conditions in Free Practice 1 to put himself ahead of some notable big names in the timesheets such as Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber
and Felipe Massa.
"In the wet this morning, we didn't look too bad, even if you always feel you could be quicker," the Australian agreed. "We seemed to be where we should in the mid-field and I was pleased with the way the car went straight out of the box,
"That's always good when you don't have the feeling you are going to need to create a whole new race car to be on the pace," he said.
That led him to be a bit more ambitious in the afternoon session when the track had dried up completely, with just some light rain returning toward the end of the ninety-minute FP2.
"In the dry in the afternoon, after my first couple of runs on the prototype and the Prime, I felt we could get more out of the car," he said. "So we made a fairly big change which I think worked in our favour. I was quite pleased with my option run but we still have some work to do, as there is more to come.
"Overall, a good Friday, a good start to the weekend," he added, as he seeks to improve on his best performance so far which saw him finish in seventh place in China earlier this year.
Despite not planning his runs as well as Ricciardo to get the best laptime on the timesheets, his Toro Rosso
team mate Jean-Eric Vergne was equally satisfied with how the first day in Canada had gone in the car.
"We seem to be roughly where we should be, so as long as we can make progress tomorrow, we can have a good weekend," said the Frenchman.
"The morning session was useful in terms of learning how the extremes and intermediates behave, as we might have more wet weather in the next two days. The car responded well in the wet," he said. "In the afternoon, we did the usual Friday job of evaluating tyres and so on. I was not so happy with the way my car was behaving, so we need to look at the data now and fix it," he admitted.