Asked how he tries to help Verstappen when in need, Ricciardo said: "If he was to ask me something I would happily tell him my position or my point of view".
The young Dutchman Verstappen clocked 1:12.198 seconds.
"I think they'll be at this stage hard to beat", he admitted, "but I think we can still improve the vehicle a lot, do more laps, learn a bit more and I think we'll be okay".
Verstappen's crash last time out in Monaco marked his fifth big mistake from six rounds, and he arrived in North America threatening to "headbutt someone" following a series of questions about his accident-prone campaign.
The qualifying result sets up the different strategies nicely, with Max Verstappen starting high up on the hypersofts - estimated to be worth half a second per lap on Friday's long runs - which may provide him with an opportunity to make early progress at the front.
The 20-year-old has been badgered about his decision-making all year - and he finally snapped during Thursday's press conference ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. I guess I woke up the right way.
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"(The problem was) not related to the MGU-K", Ricciardo said. In my final lap I had a small mistake otherwise I think there was a little bit more.
"The meaning of Ferrari in this country is huge, with the history", said Vettel, a four time F1 champion when he raced for Red Bull Renault. "In the race, it all calms down a bit so that's why I think we're always a bit more competitive in the race".
"Obviously if something happened in practice, we'd probably have to take one". We were chasing ourselves all weekend.
Part of the thinking was the team's chance of success in Montreal compared with the next race, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France.
"It's just been a hard day", he said after unexpectedly being out-qualified by team-mate Bottas.
"However, Max decided he wants to stay with Red Bull until 2020 and we respect contracts". Red Bull feared it would force a switch onto his third MGU-K component of the season - enough for a ten-place grid drop, which may have triggered a few other changes with their own penalty attached.
Once the main teams emerged, Vettel was soon quickest for Ferrari before swapping fastest laps with Raikkonen as the Mercedes men struggled to keep pace. Although a faster auto is one of his goals for next year, he was also asked if his success this season has increased his asking price. I think motorsport in Canada is linked to that name.