Belgian Grand Prix – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished P2 at the end of Friday’s practice, despite a late technical issue with his R.S.20.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in P2 at the end of Friday’s track time, finishing less than a tenth behind pacesetter Max Verstappen. He did 21 laps in the morning session en route to P9, before vaulting up to P2 in second practice with 12 laps on the board.
“It was another good FP2 as has been the case for us at the last few rounds.” said Ricciardo afterwards. “We have to do it tomorrow, though, as that’s when it counts. Today was strong, even with the issue at the end.”
Ricciardo had been on a push lap towards the end of the session when he suffered a mechanical problem coming over the crest at Radillion, with the car seeming to go into neutral. The Australian driver brought the car to a controlled stop along the Kemmel Straight, triggering Virtual Safety Car conditions while the car was recovered.
Renault later confirmed it was a hydraulic issue on the car, leading Ricciardo to stop the car as a precaution.
“For safety, we pulled the car over as there’s no point taking risks with mechanical issues on Fridays.” Ricciardo explained. “Our low fuel run was a good one. During the lap, I knew it felt good and sometimes you just know when the car’s working. I knew it was competitive and I wasn’t that surprised it was up there on the timesheets. It was a good day and we certainly understood a lot from it.”
Teammate Esteban Ocon lacked the same outright speed as Ricciardo, but appeared similarly solid as he placed in the top ten in both practice sessions. He wound up in P8 at the end of the day, around half a second away from Ricciardo’s pace.
“Today was decent and we seem to be competitive as a team.” Ocon said. “We’ve made a good step from Barcelona and I’m happy with today’s running. There were lots of things we understood, which we’ll aim to put into tomorrow and Sunday. It definitely looks promising for qualifying. It’s always nice to see a purple sector next to your name and that shows we have the speed. The long runs are hard to read especially with the red flag. We might see some cars running high fuel in FP3 to make up for the lack of running.”