Daniel Ricciardo is confident Red Bull can secure a strong result at the Russian Grand Prix, despite taking grid penalties and the Sochi Autodrom's reputation for difficult overtaking. Last year's Russian race featured just one overtake, but Ricciardo saw enough from Friday practice to remain upbeat.
A return to Renault's 'B-spec' power unit, which has less horsepower but greater reliability, will move Ricciardo and Max Verstappen down the grid to start Sunday's race.
However, the engine had enough grunt to put Red Bull between Mercedes and Ferrari in Friday practice, Verstappen third-fastest and Ricciardo slotting in behind, putting a smile on the Australian's face.
"It depends if that's the real pace. If this was qualifying, we aren't probably going to do qualifying, but if it was, I think it would be a bit of a surprise, a pleasant one," Ricciardo said.
"The car felt good. I enjoyed driving today, the circuit was fun and I think with the hypersoft, when you got grip, it's a pretty good feeling.
"A lot of the flat corners on the track, because you don't have any banking to give you that extra grip, coming here with the hyper gives that feeling so it's nice. Good fun.
"We got bit of traffic in the long runs, so we had a bit of a feeling what it's going to be like in the race.
"It's not the easiest track to overtake but we eventually got it done, so I think the race should be fun.
"I am happy to see there's some tyre deg today. If it's just an easy one-stop then it's a bit predictable, so I am hoping [it will] maybe be a two-stop, as I think that'll make it more exciting."