Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo reckons he might be able to get in front of a Ferrari or Mercedes in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, providing that is it is wet.
Ricciardo finished Friday practice at the Shanghai International Circuit in fifth place overall and while he knows that will be the maximum in the dry, with rain forecast on Saturday he is hopeful he might be able to get on the second row.
“If it is dry, I'd be happy with the top five, if it is wet, we can try to get in front of Ferrari or Mercedes, at; least one of them, so maybe better than fifth if it is wet,” he confirmed.
“Competitively I am quite happy with where we are. On one lap we can still be quicker. The long run, the race run, looked better. We can just find a bit more time on one lap, and we should be looking okay.”
Quizzed further on his thoughts after the opening day, he added: “I assume that most guys are struggling for balance because we seem relatively competitive but the car is a bit of a handful today. So I assume it was like that for everyone.
“We saw quite a few guys spin this morning, so the wind was having quite a big effect. Interesting. The long runs seemed more promising at the end with the soft tyre. The pace did not look too bad and looking at the lap times we are fairly satisfied but probably more satisfied that we are pretty close. But I feel that there is still a lot to come from the balance.
“If we find what I am after, we will be a lot closer. Considering everything today I am pretty happy.”
Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat had a more difficult day in the sister Red Bull, slipping from sixth to a lowly 13th in FP2, admitting he couldn't get the tyres into sweet spot.
“Nothing special. P1 was complicated for everybody and P2 the tyres were working in a very strange way, we need to understand how to make them work,” he explained. “At least on our side of the garage we were very far away from understanding it, and we will try to make it work tomorrow morning.
“It will be quite a crucial session.”