Chinese Grand Prix – The Red Bull pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are cautiously optimistic about their chances of victory at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Whilst the Red Bull’s weren’t able to display the timesheet-topping pace demonstrated by Mercedes and Ferrari, both Ricciardo and Verstappen were encouraged by their pace in the race simulations.
After struggling with balance issues in the tricky conditions in Shanghai, Ricciardo was unable to match the pace of his team-mate or the Mercedes and Ferrari’s, finishing the second free practice session in ninth place.
Read more: Pirelli explain decision to ‘skip’ a compound for Chinese Grand Prix.
Despite his concerns regarding the ultrasoft tyre, he was pleased with the pace shown on the harder compounds.
“Half of the morning and half of the afternoon were good,” said Ricciardo.
“Generally with the harder compounds I was more comfortable, but once we put the ultrasoft on we didn’t have as much speed so we need to find a bit of time there and understand where we are losing.
“I obviously know what doesn’t feel right in the car, but now we need to find the answers and change that for tomorrow.
“The long runs were much better and I’m confident we can find the speed. Overall, we aren’t looking too bad and I hope we can be in the fight with Ferrari and Mercedes.”
Verstappen echoed his team-mate’s concerns regarding the qualifying simulations, but he added that due to the high number of overtaking opportunities at the Shanghai circuit, targeting good race pace may be beneficial.
“We spent a bit of time during the first session today working on the setup of the car in order to understand it better,” said Verstappen.
“The long runs were once again very positive and I felt pretty comfortable. A little bit of fine tuning on the short runs to get the balance better and we should be alright.
“This track is good for overtaking anyway so I think we can have a good race judging by our pace.”