Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was encouraged by his team’s performance during the opening day of practice ahead of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
The Australian was third fastest during Friday’s second practice session with team-mate Daniil Kvyat finishing one place ahead of him as the pair impressed at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
The duo both finished ahead of newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton during the session, with the Brit’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finishing at the top of the pile ahead of the weekend’s action.
There is expected to be an issue with the engines this weekend due to the high altitude of the track in Mexico City, but the 26-year-old admits that he did not notice any ill effects from the team’s Renault power unit during the session.
Ricciardo said: “What you lose from the engine and everything, you gain from the air sucked in. The car’s a lot more slippery from what I understand down the straights. It still feels pretty quick to be honest.”
The Perth native conceded that he was pleasantly surprised by how well his car performed, although he is wary of how much more the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams have in the tank heading into the weekend.
He added: “We seemed competitive today; I don’t know how much more Mercedes and Ferrari and Williams have for tomorrow, but seeing that the straight’s so long, we were doing alright today.”