Encouraged Ricciardo credits schnitzel diet for Austria form

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo was back near the top of the timesheets last night in Austria and he had a typically quirky explanation for his form.

“I had three schnitzels last night but they were like baby schnitzels so it was like one serve, but I think I’ve earned one more tonight,” beamed Ricciardo.

“Austria’s like a real schnitzel theme, and then when we go to Monza it’s always pizza.

“I’m not saying it’s the diet I would condone to young and aspiring athletes out there, but for me it seems to be working and I get a lot of joy and happiness from this type of cuisine, so if that gives me an extra tenth in the car, just through sheer pleasure, then so be it!”

More seriously, it’s the most encouraging start to a grand prix weekend since Ricciardo joined McLaren this season.

The Australian was second in Free Practice 2 at the Red Bull Ring, only bettered by his former team-mate Max Verstappen.

The promising pace comes off the back of a strong run to sixth in the French Grand Prix.

“I know it’s only Friday but for sure, I’d rather be in the top three than 10th saying we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight,” Ricciardo said.

“So I think we do a bit of fine-tuning, but we’re certainly not lost. Far from lost actually, so I think we’re in a good place.

“Obviously low fuel pace was good this afternoon,” he added.

“I think we definitely picked something up from the morning.

“The high fuel, probably a little more to find relative to low fuel but definitely a productive afternoon.”

Ricciardo was surprised to have a full day of dry running, having been braced for rain.

“We were expecting a lot of rain, especially this afternoon and it didn’t quite arrive,” noted the 31-year-old.

“We weren’t expecting two dry sessions. Whether that’s going to stay for the weekend, we’ll see.”

Third and final practice begins tonight at 20:00 AEST, before qualifying from 23:00.

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