Ricciardo expects three-way fight behind Mercedes

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Daniel Ricciardo thinks Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams are all closely matched in the chase to catch Mercedes so far this pre-season.

Red Bull enjoyed an encouraging day on the second day of the second test at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Ricciardo completing 143 laps and setting the fastest time. The top three cars - Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams - were covered by less than 0.1s, and looking at what Red Bull’s main rivals have achieved so far, Ricciardo says he expects a three-way fight behind Mercedes.

“I think Mercedes is more or less for sure going to be up there fighting for the podium,” Ricciardo said. “And I think it will be pretty close then with us, Williams and Ferrari. Ferrari have looked strong already at Jerez so we all look to be on a similar pace for now.”

And Ricciardo admits his running in the second test ended on a positive note to see Red Bull able to set the pace on a day when it completed so much mileage.

“It was better, definitely better. We’ve been trying to get a day with 100+ laps and it was good that we got 140-odd today which was solid. Mileage is important but also we got through some pit stop practice, more or less race stint running and also some more performance-type runs, so pretty good.

“Obviously it’s just testing but it is encouraging seeing at least us on the top or in that front group of cars. You don’t know what fuel they’re running but it is encouraging nonetheless.”

Full times and the second day as it happened

Click here for the gallery from day two of the second test

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