Daniel Ricciardo admits Red Bull Racing will need rain this weekend in Brazil if they “really want a chance to win”.
Ricciardo was fourth in opening practice this morning at Interlagos and fifth in the afternoon, although with temperatures higher in FP2 a number of drivers were slower, including both Red Bulls and both Mercedes'.
“I think so,” Ricciardo replied, when asked if they need rain to be competitive with Mercedes. “We are a bit closer than we expected. They are half a second, and there is a bit more to improve with the car, but the rain will help us. If we really want a chance to win that will be the way to go.”
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Ricciardo also added that if Championship leader Nico Rosberg is a bit cautious this weekend – the German can clinch his first world title if he wins – then he will be out to take advantage.
“There is no reason why he would hold back in practice. We will see what happens on Sunday. If there is a bit of tentativeness then better for everybody else.”
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Meanwhile, Ricciardo said tyre life could be an issue for the strategy if it remains so hot.
“If it is hot like today yes, the tyres can really fall off the cliff. [But] it looks like the temperature is dropping quite a lot tomorrow, by 20 degrees the track temperature, so that will make our lives a bit easier looking after the tyres,” he noted.
Quizzed on how tough it was to look after the rears in FP1 and FP2, he added: “Hard. It is hot. [There are] a lot of low speed corners here, so you are constantly heavy on the throttle. A lot of changes in direction [too], so it is really loading up the tyres. And the track is super hot today.”
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