Daniel Ricciardo didn't appear too concerned at only posting the fifth-fastest time on day one of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, insisting that he was yet to really stretch the legs of his Red Bull.
The Australian, who arrived in Canada aggrieved at not being able to take out a victory in either – or both – Spain and Monaco, lagged a tenth behind RBR team-mate Max Verstappen as well as the two Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari at the end of the fastest afternoon session, but reckoned that he would be closer to the pace when he switches up the mode on his RB12.
“To be honest, today, we didn't run qualification mode, so there is still more to come from it tomorrow,” he said of the car and its uprated Renault V6, “So far, it seems okay but, tomorrow, I think we will see a bit more a step. For that, I think we should be closer than a second to the Mercedes tomorrow, but we'll see. Hopefully, we can find a big chunk, which I think will put us closer to Ferrari.
“I feel [Mercedes] have a good buffer on us at the moment but we've got a bit more to come from all areas tomorrow. If we are within half a second tomorrow that could be decent enough, and then you never know what will happen in the race. I think we are looking okay.”
Ricciardo admitted to being a little ragged as he reacquainted himself with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but said that there were no lingering effects from the frustration he endured in Monaco two weekends ago.
“I am definitely happy to be back behind the wheel of the car and I've always enjoyed driving around here,” he smiled, “It is definitely a lot of fun pushing the car and jumping a few of the kerbs, but I had a good knock at the wall on my third or fourth lap - I was probably still letting off some stream!
“But it was okay. We didn't get everything out of it today, but that is Friday and we know today is for learning so we'll put the work in tonight. We'll be pretty close to Ferrari and, with the right lap, we can be ahead of them. The biggest challenge for tomorrow is getting the ultrasoft to work on one lap. If you can do this, you can get a good step in lap time.”