Daniel Ricciardo had the inauspicious 'honour' of becoming the first driver to find the walls during first free practice at the Baku City Circuit, but admits Red Bull have work to do to remain competitive in the European Grand Prix regardless.
The Australia ran wide on the exit of T15 during the closing stages of the FP1 session, impacting the outside wall with the right-rear to cause significant damage.
A mighty effort by the Red Bull would see him back out for FP2 in time, where he would go on to set the tenth fastest time, Ricciardo saying the smash was an error on his part.
“I expected someone to take out the barrier in T8 first but I was the one in T15,” he joked. “I felt a bit bad about it, I said sorry to the guys…. I had a look at the on-board, but I don't think I overshot the braking, I think I came off the brake too quick and carried too much speed through the corner, so lost the rear and gave it a good whack. That was that, on a positive the guys did a tremendous to get me out for FP2.”
Even so, Ricciardo admits Red Bull is struggling for initial pace compared to the Mercedes-powered cars, but feels grip is the key to finding a 'chunk' of lap time ahead of qualifying.
“We weren't hiding much today at all. With these new surfaces, if you can get that tyre to work and find that next step of grip, I think it can equate with a big chunk of lap time. We have to find it but if we find but if we do overnight then we should be a lot closer tomorrow. Pretty much all of the Mercedes powered cars look strong.”
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