Daniel Ricciardo would have been heading to Monza with his eyes on another podium, but the upsurge in pace at Ferrari has put Red Bull’s ability to overcome their rivals this weekend into doubt.
Great to be driving back on this circuit. Through parabolica here 😊 few changes with the car & back at it tomorrow pic.twitter.com/ay78gsZ2v8
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) September 2, 2016
After an FP2 session that saw Verstappen’s Red Bull three-tenths off of Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd, The Aussie driver has been contemplating the implications.
“Position wise we are more or less were we expected. At least I expected Ferrari to be behind Mercedes here. But I didn’t expect the gap to be as big as it was. So on soft tyres we were more competitive, but on the supersofts we didn’t really find as much on one lap.
If we can use this tyre a bit better in qualifying we can get close to Ferrari, but we have a bit of work to do to catch them. Anyway, I think fifth and sixth today is not too bad.
For tomorrow at least for us it is trying to get the most out of the tyre on one lap in qualifying. Especially here I think it is going to be really tight between fifth and tenth places – so to make sure that we use the tyre well could determine a big grid position change. So that is what we will work on tonight. The long run was pretty good, so work on the qualifying.”
– Daniel Ricciardo
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 2, 2016
There are plenty of overtaking opportunities at the Monza circuit, but Red Bull drivers could do without having to chase down a Williams or Force India in the race. Tyre degradation is terrible in the dirty air around here, so both Red Bulls will be targeting the third row as a minimum for Qualifying. The Mercedes-powered Williams and Force India pose a threat to Red Bull in quali, and getting trapped behind them in the race early on could see a heavily jeopardized race strategy unfold.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 2, 2016