• German GP - FP2

Red Bull closing on Mercedes - Ricciardo

Laurence Edmondson at Hockenheim
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Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull has closed the gap to Mercedes at this weekend's German Grand Prix, but says it's still too early to tell if it is down to the removal of FRIC [Front and Rear Interconnected] suspension from the cars.

Ricciardo was third fastest after FP2 and just over a tenth off the pace of the fastest Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. It was the first session this season without FRIC on any of the cars, following a warning from the FIA about the system, and Ricciardo said it felt like Red Bull had made progress.

"We were not running it today and the car doesn't feel that much different," he said. "Hopefully for some of the other teams they will feel a bigger difference, but it's not going to change too much. Let's see, if Mercedes are only a tenth ahead tomorrow [in qualifying] then maybe it's doing something.

"It's one of the closer ones. It's important to be [up] there tomorrow. But it's good for today and we should be optimistic and happy with our progress. Let's try and do it tomorrow and see how close we really are."

Ricciardo is confident he will be closer in race conditions too.

"I haven't had a real look at the long runs, but I get the impression we are quite competitive as well. Maybe we can give them [Mercedes] a bit of a push this weekend and see how we go."

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