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Daniel Ricciardo hopes Red Bull can fight Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo says he hopes to be in the mix with Ferrari in qualifying after an encouraging Friday at the Red Bull Ring.

Ricciardo ended FP2 fifth fastest, and was just 0.390s off Lewis Hamilton's record lap time around the Austrian circuit. While the gap to the Mercedes is relatively small, he expects Mercedes to be out of reach in tomorrow's qualifying session due to its ability to select a higher power setting in Q3.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull. Manuel Goria/Sutton Images
"Yeah we look close," Ricciardo said. "I expect the normal situation with Mercedes, they will have a bit more for qualifying, but hopefully Ferrari don't have too much more and we can try be in that battle. We are between Seb [Vettel] and Raikkonen at the moment, so hopefully we will hang in there."

Red Bull was once again hit with reliability gremlins as Ricciardo suffered an MGU-H issue which stopped him from completing a race simulation in the afternoon session. Despite these issues which seem to recurring for the team, the Australian is hopeful of maintaining this level of competitiveness for the rest of the weekend.

"We could not get a full long run at the end, we had a couple of issues,'' Ricciardo added. "But otherwise we seem relatively competitive for what it is. The top five cars are within four tenths or something, so I would hope that would stay for qualifying then it would be a pretty exciting show for the weekend."

Unlike at previous races this season, the time difference between the three tyre compounds was lower than expected, something Ricciardo believes could impact what strategy choices teams make in Sunday's race.

"It is a bit surprising; the soft does not look too bad. Lewis was quickest this morning with the soft, so obviously they have a quick car but still to be quickest on that tire shows it is pretty durable and strong around here. I think a lot of teams tonight will be looking at their options for Sunday and not thinking it is a clear one stop with an ultra soft and the super soft anymore."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19896539/daniel-ricciardo-hopes-red-bull-fight-ferrari

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