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Local hero Daniel Ricciardo had a mixed day yesterday as set up changes from the morning session didn’t necessarily translate into an improvement in the afternoon session at Albert Park. Ricciardo is confident, however, that he can challenge if the mix between the two set ups is right.

“The morning we looked pretty strong and then we did try to go quicker in the afternoon,” explained Ricciardo.

“We made some changes and it didn’t work out the way Max and myself wanted, or expected. It’s still interesting, Mercedes obviously look quick, and Ferrari, but with the right lap I think we can be in that fight as well.”

Ricciardo finished the first session third with a 1:24.886, 0.360s behind both Mercedes, and ended Practice Two fifth with a 1:24.650, 1.030s behind Hamilton as Ferrari placed second and fourth ahead of the Australian. Ricciardo is hoping to battle the Ferraris and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in Qualifying.

“We tried a few things this afternoon and they didn’t work as much as we’d like to,” Ricciardo continued.

“We’ll probably go back a bit and then understand what we can do better for tomorrow, but yes the Mercedes sure is quick, but it’s Lewis at the moment rather than Valtteri. Valtteri look like he is with our group, us and Ferrari. I think we can be there. Pole will be a stretch but I think we can be in that next little group.”

Ricciardo was also complimentary of the new regulations.

It’s nice, certainly fun,” enthused Ricciardo.

“You feel mainly the traction with these bigger tyres and more downforce, all the low speed stuff you can get onto the throttle a little more aggressively and the high speed stuff, 11 and 12, is really cool.”

Formula 1 is currently on track for Practice Three and will be on track at 5:00pm.