After qualifying in fourth position for the Canadian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo says he is pleased that Red Bull has closed the large deficit to Mercedes.
At a track not generally favoured to the high-downforce of the Red Bull, Ricciardo ended the qualifying session within four-tenths of a second from the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
“I am pretty pleased to be within four tenths of them. I hope they did a good lap and that is a real time,” Ricciardo said.
“It has been really encouraging and nice to see. Last year was, especially this time last year, we were not looking too good, and things weren’t really looking like they were going to get better quickly. In the end we turned it around after the next few races after Canada.”
Last year, Ricciardo qualified in ninth position behind his teammate Daniil Kvyat and just under two seconds to Hamilton’s pace, highlight the struggles of the Renault power unit.
However, with a season to implement developments and a recent successful upgrade introduced in Monaco, Red Bull has seen an increase in performance which has brought them closer the team who has ruled the v6 turbo era.
“We are a lot closer now, so it is good that it has not just come from the car. We have got the big chunk from the power unit, so it is nice that both packages are working together,” Ricciardo continued.
“That has been the real big thing for us, and then the teamwork between the guys with the power unit and the guys here at the team, there is a lot less friction than there was last year. Everyone is in a lot more positive happy place so it helps the morale within the team. We are more motivated to keep improving what we have got.
“Looking ahead now we have some tracks we can look forward to. Tomorrow we should have a good chance to if not battle with them, have a good fight with Ferrari.”
On the topic of the Monaco Grand Prix where he lost the race due to a team pit stop error, Ricciardo says that he’s put that misfortune behind him and is ready to look forward to racing around Canada, a race where he won his first Grand Prix in 2014.
When asked why he seemed a lot happier than he did on Thursday, Ricciardo said, “I get to drive again. Being behind the wheel definitely you can let off some steam.
“It’s my happy place and this track does make me happy. You can really, as I showed you, push the limit and brush the wall and that is in a way letting off some steam. That’s cool. Sure Monaco, if I think about it even years from now, it will still make me upset.
“But at the same time I know what is done is done and to keep dwelling on it is not going to help me or the team, so it is what it is. Unfortunately, it happened but it is done. Obviously I had to clear my head before this weekend and make sure that I came here with a positive mindset.”
Image via Red Bull Content Pool