Canadian GP: Ricciardo moved towards Verstappen's set-up after FP3
|By Adam Cooper and Valentin Khorounzhiy||Sunday, June 10th 2018, 08:16 GMT|
Daniel Ricciardo says he moved "pretty close" to Max Verstappen's set-up during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, having struggled to match his Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate in Montreal practice.
Ricciardo made a first set-up change to his RB14 after Friday's running, but while Verstappen completed a clean sweep of practice in Saturday morning's FP3 the Australian was more than half a second off.
This prompted a change for qualifying, with Ricciardo ending up within two tenths of his team-mate in Q3.
"This [Saturday] morning we were [set up] a fair bit different, across cars, and obviously we were not that great this morning, so we came back," Ricciardo explained.
"It was kind of where we were yesterday [Friday] and a little bit further in that direction, and that was where Max was, so we're pretty close now."
Ricciardo lost mileage to a mechanical problem in FP2 and "more issues" in FP3, and he reckoned that was a factor in his deficit to Verstappen - who Ricciardo conceded had been "driving really well".
"I feel some of it has just been that lack of track time, lack of rhythm," said Ricciardo.
"That's contributed to it, and also he's just been driving really well all weekend.
"He's been comfortable from the start, and he's been able just to set it up each run, they haven't really changed their car much at all. We're chasing our tail a bit more.
"It's a combination of that, and the fact that he's just been driving really well."
Ricciardo said he was content with his qualifying performance, if not his starting position of sixth and slowest of the three leading teams' drivers.
"The result on paper, I'm not happy with sixth, but am I happy with the way I drove? Yeah," he added.
"It's the tail end of that pack, which is why I'm not happy - but looking at where we were, it doesn't make me satisfied, but I feel we did all we could with what we had."
Ricciardo will start the race on the softer hypersoft compound tyre, as will Verstappen in third place - whereas the Mercedes and Ferrari cars will all line up on ultrasofts.
Red Bull's hypersoft call was questioned by Sebastian Vettel after qualifying, but Ricciardo believes it could help him make up ground early on.
"It's still a difficult track to overtake [on] - I don't know to what point, but I would at least guess the first three laps we should have a bit of an advantage," said Ricciardo.
"If the others are sliding around in dirty air or whatever, we should be able to just get a bit more out of them [the tyres].
"It sets us up to be aggressive and attacking, and should hopefully make some good TV as well.
"I don't think a podium is unrealistic tomorrow, as long as we get the hypers to lap whatever-it-is, to still do a one-stop."