Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was upbeat after Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix, hailing it as one of the team’s best Friday’s this year.

Having spent the first practice session on the medium compound tyre, Ricciardo finished 2.5 seconds off the pace in seventh position while team mate Max Verstappen was half a second quicker in third.

Once the second session got underway in the afternoon, the super softs were bolted on and Ricciardo was able to split the Mercedes to finish in second, only 0.194 seconds off Nico Rosberg’s benchmark.

“It is one of our best Fridays for sure,” Ricciardo said. “On our long run pace we looked like we were able match them if not be quicker. But I’ve said it before – it is Friday, but it is nice to have a good Friday.

“It’s nice to start the weekend on the right foot. I don’t think we will have hours and hours of work ahead of ourselves tonight. Just a bit of fine tuning. We don’t have to search for too much at the moment.”

While Mercedes once again set the benchmark over one lap, Red Bull looked to have outpaced the Silver Arrows in the race simulations carried out towards the end of FP2.

Providing Red Bull can carry their qualifying pace over for tomorrow, the Milton Keynes outfit could put themselves into a position to challenge Mercedes for the podium positions.

“You can definitely overtake here, which is good. If we have the pace we have today against the Mercedes on Sunday, then it is going to be a fun race.

“We will have some overtaking ahead of us. Let’s see, I am not sure where they are with engines and how conservative they are running. Today we looked good; we will see what happens over the next 48 hours.”

Image via Red Bull Content Pool

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Josh Kruse

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