Ricciardo: I think Mercedes look really strong

After the euphoria in Monte-Carlo two weeks ago, Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo was dealt a reality check on the first day of free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday, as electrical gremlins kept him in the garage for longer than he wanted to be.

Until late in FP2 Ricciardo was bottom of the timing screens as his mechanics grafted to get his Red Bull sorted and back on track. After a run on Supersofts he bolted on the Hypers and popped into third place where he stayed until the end of the afternoon session.

He said afterwards, “We didn’t have the smoothest day, but Max had a good day and I think Mercedes look really strong. The time they did on the Ultras was quick, so on the Hypers I think they would have got into the one minute 11s.”

“Hopefully, we will just get a smooth FP3 and will have to force a long run as well to see what the tyres are doing. We didn’t really get a long run today. But Max’s pace was good and we will be OK tomorrow.”

Despite winning in Monaco, Ricciardo drove most of that race with a failed MGU-K prompting speculation by Adrian Newey that the Australian would suffer engine related grid penalties, but this may not transpire and the latest issues are apparently not connected.

Ricciardo explained, “The problem doesn’t look related to the issue in Monaco or anything that could cause a penalty. We had what looked like an electrical problem this morning and they tried to fix it during lunch but it didn’t improve.”

“So we had to try and fix that. In the end it was a bit better so we made some improvements. So we missed some track time but we will kick in on Saturday.”

“We have the upgraded engine this weekend and I think there are still a few things to be configured on that front.”

“We managed to get a few laps in at the end of FP2 and I did enough to feel what the car was like. We learned a bit and I know the direction I want to go set-up wise,” added Ricciardo who scored his maiden Formula 1 victory at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix.