Daniel Ricciardo insists that he is not getting carried away by posting the third-fastest time in each practice session on day one of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Australian was 'best of the rest' behind the two Mercedes drivers in each of the 90-minute sessions on Friday, but insists that his Red Bull team would have to wait and see how the rest of the weekend unfolded, with Ferrari hovering close behind him on the timesheets.

"Merc are still, I believe, too quick," he said when asked whether he could countenance thoughts of a repeat of his 2014 race win, "They might even turn up (the speed) a bit more on Saturday....

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I think Mercedes are creating a bit of excitement for themselves because normally they're their only threat, but we'll see. As we saw in the lap times, they've still got half a second on us, so there's still a big gap. Anything can happen around here, but I'm not getting too excited.

"Generally, if we can stay third and fourth, then we [would be] pretty pleased. We didn't really expect to be this far up today, but we know that Williams always turn it on on Saturday, and that Ferrari will find a bit more, so it is going to closer tomorrow. To win, we will need a helping hand again from Merc. A podium would be nice, but let's see how we go. We've got tomorrow to deal with, and it will close up a lot more.

"It is nice when you see that it is close because you know that, if you put the perfect lap together, that maybe one tenth can move you up two or three places, so that challenge is nice and fun. It's cool - all the drivers in that little group - we are all thinking the same, so it is fun. Fingers crossed we can keep it up tomorrow and, if we can finish top three, I'll be quite happy."

Tyres were the main talking point after the second session, following a blow-out for Nico Rosberg that Ricciardo described as 'a bit scary to watch'. However, it was a lack of performance on the supposedly faster option tyre that held the Australian's attention a little harder.

"We definitely lost some speed with the option and it sounds, from both our comments, Daniil and myself, that we're not as happy with the option tyre and couldn't get as much rear grip from it as we expected," he explained, "We both ran different set-ups across the car today, so our comments are different in each sector, but we both felt more comfy on the prime. If we can find a bit more on the option then we could be looking half-decent.

"It's been hit-and-miss the last couple of times with the option. You can feel the grip, but you can't really use it - you think you've got it, but then it's a false sort of grip, so we'll see what happens..."