Red Bull upgrades 'working' as Ricciardo tops Friday

Red Bull Racing, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Hungarian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have both expressed their hopes that the team is now heading in the right direction.

The RB13 arrives at the Hungarian Grand Prix sporting some new aerodynamic upgrades. Changes to the sidepods, floor, mirrors and the front wing aim to maximise downforce on the car.

"We brought some updates here and they seem to be working," Ricciardo said after the session. "I do feel like we have gained some grip in the car.

"It certainly behaved more like a B[-spec car]," he noted. "This morning looked strong out of the box."

The upgrades did appear to put an extra spring in the Red Bull's step on Friday. Ricciardo topped both FP1 and FP2, setting the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1:18.455s. That is just a whisker off Rubens Barrichello's 2004 track record of 1:18.436s.

"We have stepped in the right direction," Ricciardo agreed. "We'll see tomorrow, but it's definitely a positive day."

He was particularly pleased to set consistent times in both morning and afternoon stints. "To replicate the same pace as this morning in the afternoon is positive," he said.

"You don't know what Ferrari and Mercedes are going to come up with. It looks like Ferrari found a bit more pace this afternoon - but we're still ahead.

"This is a track that suits us as well. If we can extract every bit out of the car, we may have a shot at actually fighting for big points this weekend.

"I genuinely feel we can stay at the pointy end tomorrow."

Verstappen ended the afternoon in sixth place and was half a second off the pace of his team mate, but he wasn't downhearted.

“The first practice I was just not happy with the balance. It was a bit all over the place," he explained. "Just couldn't get the lap together, wasn't happy with the car.

"We started to sort out the balance a bit better, and we changed quite a lot of things on the car," he continued. "I was still not very comfortable with the car, and then actually on the supersofts it was all coming together.

"At the end of second practice it was good, but I couldn't finish my lap," he said. "With the red flags it was a bit ruined.

"We had red flags, yellow flags, and a red flag again.

"I went out again, while others were doing the long runs, and then all the sector times were fine, so it's looking good. I am finally feeling good in the car at the end of practice sessions.”

Despite not being able to show the car's true potential in the stop-start session, Verstappen was feeling positive about the weekend.

"It's looking better than in previous races," he insisted. "The car definitely has a lot more grip. You can see in the timings that we're there, so that's very positive."

But he remained wary as to how Red Bull will shape up against its main rivals when it comes to qualifying on Saturday.

“I think Mercedes are still strong," he said. "They can turn up their engines more than us. But for us it's already a very positive day so let's see tomorrow."

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