Daniel Ricciardo says the first two free practice sessions for the Hungarian Grand Prix resulted in “one of our better Fridays”, as he and Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat split the Mercedes in FP2 at Budapest.
Prior to that, the Milton Keynes-based squad had already placed its two drivers in the top five during the initial running.
Red Bull had been confident the Hungaroring’s tight and twisty nature would suit its Renault-powered RB11 better. Now the four-time world champions are keen to extend the momentum over the rest of the weekend, as they look to remain the second-quickest team.
“I think it was a good day, one of our better Fridays,” said Ricciardo. “We’re looking more competitive and I think it’s important. Daniil and I sound pretty happy with the car. There were a few little things here and there but generally it was a pretty good day for both cars in the team.
“Obviously we have to carry that into tomorrow now. But to have good pace in both sessions with both cars, it’s good. The low fuel, we’re more or less there and the high-fuel is looking really good.
“I hope we stay where we are. I expect Rosberg to get back in front of us but if we can stay the second-best team, that’ll be a really good day.
“You don’t know what [Williams and Ferrari] were doing and how much they’ve turned it down. I’m sure we’re not half a second in front of Ferrari but even if we’re one tenth ahead tomorrow, I’ll take that.”
Ricciardo’s strong opening day was only overshadowed at the end of FP2 when the Australian had to park his car in a plume of smoke.
“For sure, it’s some sort of engine issue, I don’t know exactly what yet. There was just a lot of smoke and I lost all power.
“It’s the old engine, not the new one that I’ll be using tomorrow and during the race. So, I won’t need to take a penalty for this.”