Red Bull Racing will enter the final two days of testing full of positivity after Daniel Ricciardo completed the team’s strongest day of pre-season preparations so far in Bahrain.
After an exhaust issue spoilt what had been a positive start to the first day of the final test in Bahrain for Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo bounced back on Friday to complete 66 laps, almost double his day one total, on what is set to be his final taste of the RB10 before the season opener in Melbourne next month.
The Australian ended the day third fastest overall, his lap of 1:35.743 just two tenths shy of Sergio Perez’s session topping time, and Red Bull’s best time by some margin in six days of running at the Bahrain International Circuit.
“It went a lot better today,” said Ricciardo. “This morning it was important to have the race crew here to do the pit stops, as they haven’t had the chance to get to grips with the car yet, so we didn’t do that many laps in the morning.
“However, in the afternoon we did some good stuff. We had a go on the soft tyre, which was nice, to see how the car responds with a bit more grip. We also did one long run at the end, which was very important, just to see how the car is behaving with the tyres.
“A big improvement everywhere over yesterday and a much more optimistic outlook now I think. We still have a lot to learn and understand, but we’re making progress and the past two days have been a big step in the right direction.”
Red Bull’s Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum added: “A very much better day’s work for us today. We were a bit late out in the morning, but that was simply due to the repairs we had to make overnight because of the damage we had yesterday. That was pretty much a ‘fix in the field’.
“When we did send Daniel out this morning we again put him on short runs just to test everything, as obviously you don’t want to push too hard, have a problem and then wreck the rest of the day.
“We were back in the garage over lunch to make some changes, though nothing drastic, and then in the afternoon we were very much better again. Daniel was able to do a longer run of 20 timed laps, our longest so far.
“The car is still difficult to drive for Daniel but we’ll tune that out,” said Damerum. “We have more parts to fit overnight and hopefully we’ll be able to get some more decent runs in with Sebastian over the next two days and also give him the opportunity to do some performance runs.
“Overall a good day today and very encouraging.”
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