Ricciardo ended Friday practice +0.985 seconds off the pace of pace setter Lewis Hamilton but only one tenth off former Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
The Australian showed a similar turn of speed in the equivalent session last time out at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. On that occasion, Ricciardo backed up the promising show of pace by qualifying fifth, although a mid-race spin ruined what had been a strong race to that point.
Reflecting on the similarities to one week ago, Ricciardo said: “It was really similar actually. We had a quiet FP1 at Silverstone and then a delicious FP2, similar here today.
“Max just got me for P3. I really wanted that again, he’s cut me deep, but it was a good day.
“We found a bit in FP2. I wasn’t particularly happy with FP1 so we made some changes. I thought at the time they were a little bit bold so I think we’ll stay as we are for tomorrow now.”
As for the problems suffered in practice one, a session he finished third slowest, he said: “Nothing really, just a bit of set-up stuff and I think we’ve come here in winter when it’s so cold and it’s just completely different and we found out that, obviously we expected it, but the tyres are behaving completely differently in these temperatures.
“Everything feels like – gooey. So it’s just all very gooey and wobbly, and the grip, the feeling is really different to what we’re used to. It was just trying to find a set-up that was a bit happier and I think this afternoon we got on top of that.”
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