Daniel Ricciardo has revealed concerns regarding his Red Bull RB10’s lack of pace after finishing well adrift of the front runners in free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Australian admitted his team have plenty of work to do to ensure he can challenge Mercedes in Montreal after finishing more than a second off the pace in both free practice sessions.
Ricciardo finished sixth in the opening hit-out before gearbox issues limited him to 12th position in the second session, finishing 1.5s off the leading time.
Meanwhile, his reigning world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel ended the day just under half a second adrift of the pace setter Lewis Hamilton in third.
The lack of speed has left the 24-year-old Western Australian fearing he could find himself well down the grid in qualifying if his team are unable to improve the car overnight.
“I think if we can get it right we can definitely challenge them (Mercedes). But it is really close, and if we don’t get it right we can be a long way back as we have seen,” said Ricciardo.
“We have to make sure we nail it.
“It seems pretty close to be honest. There are a few teams who can challenge if not for the front row then for the second row. It seems to be a bit more even this week.
“We have to try to make sure that we are extracting everything out of it to get in front. On Friday we didn’t but we are working on that.”
“We obviously hoped to be a bit further up there. I don’t feel at home with the car, but at the same time we don’t feel 1.5 seconds off.
“We have a bit to understand. What is positive is that Seb put in a quick one, so we can see what he did there and try to see where we are in comparison, see where I need to work and see if we can get further up.”
Ricciardo’s day was made worse after picking up his first reprimand of the season for overtaking Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado in the pit-lane during Free Practice 1.
The Aussie was deemed to have dived down the inside of Maldonado in a “dangerous” manner.
As a result, he was called to the race stewards and subsequently reprimanded for the move.
If a driver obtains three reprimands during a season they will receive 10 place grid penalty.