Ricciardo feeling "hooked up" for first time at Sochi

Daniel Ricciardo believes it is "early days" to talk up Renault's chances of a podium finish at the Russian Grand Prix despite feeling "hooked up" in Friday's Formula 1 practice running.

Ricciardo feeling "hooked up" for first time at Sochi

Ricciardo managed to finish as the best of the rest behind the dominant Mercedes drivers on Friday at the Sochi Autodrom, ending second practice in third place, more than a second off pace-setter Valtteri Bottas' time.

Ricciardo was able to beat McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, who took fourth and fifth respectively, and finished half a second clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Verstappen said he thought Renault would be "tough" to beat to third place in qualifying on Saturday, with Ricciardo acknowledging that he felt comfortable in the car around Sochi.

"It's probably the first time I've ever really been hooked up around here," Ricciardo said. "It felt good. I think the first run this morning was already, I was on it, and stayed on it for the rest of the day.

"So yeah, really happy with another good Friday."

Ricciardo has finished fourth in two of the last three races, narrowly missing out on a breakthrough podium for Renault at both Spa and Mugello.

The Australian has a long-running tattoo bet with Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul that he is eager to cash in on before his exit at the end of the season.

Asked if he could target a podium in Sochi, Ricciardo said that it was "early days".

"If we can put it here in qualy, then for sure, I'll be confident of that," Ricciardo said.

"I think there's all the cars around two- or three-tenths of us, and I'm sure that will be the battle tomorrow.

"It's all going to close up, so if we can get and stay that tenth ahead, then we'll look alright."

Ricciardo's teammate Esteban Ocon lapped almost half a second slower in second practice, but was reassured by his engineer that the gap could be explained by the different approaches the drivers were taking in the session.

The Frenchman felt Renault had the chance of doing "properly well' in Sochi, judging by its Friday form.

"With the car, we have the potential of doing properly well this weekend, it feels good," Ocon said.

"We had plenty of testing, so we'll have everything to go through and analyse properly. But tomorrow, it's up to us to put everything together and make it happen.

"We have a few different characteristics in terms of aero [compared to Ricciardo] and a few different things in terms of engine as well. A few things differently, but we know where we are.

"We know the pace which is promising, so it's up to us to make it happen tomorrow."

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas says there's "more to come" from Mercedes

Previous article

Bottas says there's "more to come" from Mercedes

Next article

Mick Schumacher opens up on his dad's record being broken

Mick Schumacher opens up on his dad's record being broken
Load comments
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021