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Ferrari has "a big margin" over Red Bull at Monza - Ricciardo

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Ferrari has "a big margin" over Red Bull at Monza - Ricciardo
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Sep 2, 2016, 2:29 PM

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo concedes his team was "a bit off" podium pace in the Italian GP Friday running, with Ferrari comfortably ahead.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12 with the Halo cockpit cover
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12

Ferrari, which is battling Red Bull for runner-up in the constructors' championship this year, had its cars in third and fourth behind the leading Mercedes duo in both Friday sessions.

And while Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen did move up to P5 and P6 in FP2 after a subdued opening practice, they remained a few tenths off the Scuderia.

Asked whether Monza was set to be all about damage limitation for Red Bull, Ricciardo said: "We always approached this weekend like that. But I don't want to be too pessimistic into it.

"We have had a good run of podiums [in five consecutive races] and to keep that run going here, is not unlikely – less likely – but we will still do what we can.

"I think today showed that we are still a bit off the podium spot. Ferrari has a good buffer on us, I think we can get more out of supersoft which can help - but still a big margin. We will do a bit of work tonight and we are not in a bad place on the long runs."

Perfect run needed

Going on evidence from Friday running, Ricciardo reckoned Red Bull would need a "perfect" performance to trouble Ferrari on Saturday.

"The gap they had today was significant enough that they would need to make a few mistakes and we would need to make tomorrow perfect to get them, but we will see.

"I definitely feel we can get a bit more out of it, and race cars are like that: the track changes and the conditions change and all of a sudden you find half a second without really expecting it.

"But it won't come easy. I think we will have to maximise everything we have got to try to put some pressure on them. I would say they have a few tenths on us at the moment."

Pace "not too bad" - Verstappen

Ricciardo's teammate Verstappen was likewise cautiously optimistic, saying that Red Bull has fared quite well at Monza so far, with the team having expected a difficult weekend.

"It was quite an okay day. We knew we were going to struggle here, but in the end it is not too bad. We want to improve but I think everybody wants that," Verstappen said.

"It will be tougher than Spa, you can see that clearly. More straights than at Spa. [At] Spa, you still had sector two where there are some very fast corners where you can gain some time.

"Here in Monza, that is more difficult for us and that is what we knew.

"But we will do our best."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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