Ricciardo ended FP2 at the Red Bull Ring second fastest, just over 0.3s behind Max Verstappen.

The Australian has struggled since making the switch to McLaren at the start of 2021, trailing teammate Lando Norris by 42 points in the drivers’ championship after the opening seven races of the season.

Reflecting on his strong Friday in Austria, Ricciardo was in his typical jokey mood.

“I know it is only Friday, but for sure I’d rather be in the top three than tenth and saying we have a lot of work to do tonight,”  Ricciardo said. “We do a bit of fine-tuning, but we certainly are not lost. We are far from lost actually, so I think we are in a good place. I had like three schnitzels last night, but they were like baby schnitzels. But I think I earned a few more tonight.”

Ricciardo was then asked if schnitzel would be part of his diet for the rest of the weekend, where he replied: “Yes. Austria is like a real schnitzel theme. Then when we go to Monza it is always pizza. I’m not saying it is the diet I would come down to young and aspiring athletes, but for me it seems to be working.

“I get a lot of joy and happiness from this type of cuisine, so that gives me an extra tenth in the car just through sheer pleasure, then so be it.”

Lando Norris ended the afternoon in seventh-place, 0.2s shy of his teammate.

The British driver was a repeat offender for track limits throughout practice but he’s not concerned it will carry over into qualifying or the race.

“A lot of my laps were deleted, yeah, pretty much most of them in fact, so as long as I’m good by Sunday and tomorrow then it is all fine,” Norris added. “I am just exploring the limits and finding the limits. I’ll be fine tomorrow.”