Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull can give Mercedes “a bit of a push” in the German Grand Prix after an encouraging Friday of practice.
On the supersoft tyre runs in FP2, Ricciardo was just 0.102s slower than Lewis Hamilton's pace-setting time as Red Bull appeared close to the championship leaders. Following the end of the session, Ricciardo was keen not to read too much in to Friday times but said Red Bull has definitely made a step forward and he is hopeful it can be close again on Saturday.
“It's one of the closer ones, I think it's important to be there tomorrow,” Ricciardo said. “So it's good for today, we should be optimistic and happy with our progress, but let's try and do it tomorrow and then we'll see how close we really are.
“I think it's good; definitely today was a good Friday for us. I think the long runs – I haven't had a real look yet – so I get the impression we're quite competitive as well. So maybe we can give them a bit of a push this weekend, we'll see how we go.”
While Ricciardo doesn't believe the removal of FRIC suspension systems from all cars was playing a major part in Red Bull's relative pace, he did concede the gap in qualifying would be more telling.
“We're not running it today and the car itself doesn't feel that different. Hopefully for the other teams they feel a bigger difference without running it but I don't think it's going to change too much. If Mercedes are only a tenth ahead tomorrow then maybe it's doing something…”