Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo is staying calm despite a frustrating opening day of practice for this weekend’s Austrian Formula One grand prix.
- Daniel Ricciardo says he has taken a step forward despite finishing 15th in second practice for the Austrian F1 Grand Prix
- Last week, the Australian had power issues with his car, slipping to a 13th place finish at the same track as this weekend’s race
- Ricciardo sits ninth in the Formula One standings, 122 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen
In first practice at the track in Spielberg, Ricciardo finished 12th in one minute 6.181 seconds, 1.060 seconds behind pacesetter Max Verstappen.
In the second practice session, he slipped to 15th position, with a time of 1:05.698, 1.175 second behind Lewis Hamilton, who had the fastest time of the day of 1:04.523, ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen in third.
“It actually didn’t feel that bad,” Ricciardo told F1.com.
“I know there’s not many corners here, but maybe we’re just missing half a tenth (of a second) everywhere, then that obviously adds up to half a second or something, and that’s what we need.”
“It’s probably just some fine tuning tonight. I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel.
“I think like with my driving and the points that I missed out last week, and areas I was lacking, I think I definitely made a good step today.
The performances continue another difficult year for Ricciardo, whose best result so far has been sixth placings at the Emilia Romagna, Spain and France Grand Prix.
His total of 34 points has him ninth in the standings, 122 shy of championship leader — and old teammate at Red Bull — Max Verstappen.
A week ago, Ricciardo had a great start at the Styrian Grand Prix, passing a string of rivals in the opening lap to get as high as ninth spot.
Unfortunately for the Australian, a power problem with his car led to a loss of speed and he slipped back down the standings to finish 13th.
Ricciardo said after last week he was working on ‘trying to maximise the driving style the car currently likes”.
“Last Friday we were actually looking pretty good, so if you look at the classification of last week to this week you’ll think we’re miles off, but then Saturday they changed completely — so I have confidence we can move forward for tomorrow.
“I’m not going to panic – a little bit of fine tuning and I think we’ll find what we need tomorrow.”