Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull will have a “very strong” car for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix but is wary of their rivals’ potential in qualifying.

The Chinese Grand Prix winner headed the second practice session in Baku but believes the team’s closest rivals have one-lap performance in hand.

“We were quick today,” he said. “The ultra-soft long run we could have been better but super-soft was good. I think we’re pretty confident.

“Qualifying, I’m still not sure how much the others can go quicker. But even if we don’t qualify on the front row we’ll still have a very strong race car. We’re still in the group of favourites.”

Ricciardo said Ferrari and Mercedes are likely to be stronger on the long straights in sectors one and three tomorrow but expects his car to make up ground in the middle of the lap.

“I certainly feel like I’m up there, I feel like I’m driving good and I felt comfortable out there today. That’s the important thing with a street circuit, you want that comfort in yourself and the car. I didn’t really have any scares today. The balance was pretty normal, pretty good.

“Generally it’s a low-grip circuit so you never expect a perfect car here but for the conditions I was pretty happy with it. We’ll just roll on with this tomorrow and Sunday. Only thing that’s going to make the car feel worse is the wind, it gets pretty aggressive over the next two days. But that’s the same for everyone.”

2018 F1 season

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