Daniel Ricciardo was pleasantly surprised by Red Bull's pace during second practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday after finishing the session fourth-fastest, beating both Ferrari Formula 1 drivers.

Ricciardo recovered from missing the second half of FP1 due to a precautionary check on his Red Bull car to finish just four-tenths of a second behind pace-setter Lewis Hamilton on Friday afternoon.

While Ricciardo was cautious to read too much into the pace shown by rivals Mercedes and Ferrari at the Sochi Autodrom, the Australian was happy with his efforts on Friday afternoon.

"It depends if that’s the real pace. If this was qualifying, we aren’t probably going to do qualifying, but if it was, I think it would be a bit of a surprise, a pleasant one," Ricciardo said.

"The car felt good. I enjoyed driving today, the circuit was fun and I think with the Hypersoft, when you got grip, it’s a pretty good feeling. A lot of the flat corner on the this track, because you don’t have any banking to give you that extra grip, coming here with the hyper gives that feeling so it’s nice. Good fun."

Ricciardo is set to start the race from towards the back of the grid on Sunday as a result of a penalty for a power unit change, but he is relishing an exciting race after getting a feel for running in traffic through FP2.

"We got bit of traffic in the long runs, so we had a bit of a feeling what it’s going to be like in the race," Ricciardo said.

"It’s not the easiest track to overtake but we eventually got it done, so I think the race should be fun.

"I am happy to see there’s some tyre deg today. If it’s just an easy one-stop then it’s a bit predictable, so I am hoping [it will] maybe be a two-stop, as I think that’ll make it more exciting."

Ricciardo's teammate, Max Verstappen, was less enthusiastic about Red Bull's pace compared to that of Mercedes and Ferrari, saying the team would not be able to compete come qualifying on Saturday.

"I think the car worked well but we know in qualifying, anyway, you don’t have a chance when they turn up their engines," Verstappen said.

"It’s good that we at least are in the mix today. If we were already half a second behind, then we would definitely have a lot more work to do but so far we can’t really complain."