Ricciardo expects ‘close’ Ferrari fight in qualifying

Daniel Ricciardo says he is gearing up for a “close” fight with Ferrari in qualifying at the German Grand Prix, though the Red Bull driver is confident his “really positive” long runs could help him challenge Mercedes on Sunday.

Unlike in Hungary last week, Ricciardo was not able to overhaul the fastest Ferrari in FP2 as he slotted into fifth behind his team-mate Max Verstappen.

Red Bull has shown strong pace across recent races and closed the gap to the Scuderia to just one point in the Constructors’ championship. The Milton Keynes-based outfit did not expect its speed to translate entirely at Hockenheim but Ricciardo sounds confident about his prospects for Saturday’s qualifying session.

“On one lap it is close [with Ferrari] I think we could have got a bit more out of our low fuel run, but it will be close on one lap,” he said. “But the high fuel stuff seemed really positive. So if we can carry that across into Sunday then we can be looking quite nice.”

The Australian adds that Red Bull has a bold target in mind for Sunday’s race.

“We looked closer to the Mercs on high fuel, so that was good. But let’s see what happens on Sunday. But definitely the high fuel was more competitive.”

Ricciardo is making his 100th grand prix appearance in Germany this weekend, having won three for 12 podiums.

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