Daniel Ricciardo felt the opening day of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend was a good one for him and for Red Bull Racing, but he expects both Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team to move clear of them on Saturday.
The Australian finished the opening session in the desert heat second fastest behind Sebastian Vettel, and set the third fastest time in the second session behind the German and Valtteri Bottas, but he believes the team will struggle to maintain their competitiveness into qualifying.
Ricciardo also knew the importance of not taking too much out of first practice, with the second more suited to the conditions they are likely to face during both qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
“Today was good. FP1 is always a tricky one here in order to set the car up, because it’s so hot and the race is so cool so you have to be careful not to get carried away with what you learn during that first session,” said Ricciardo.
“FP2 looked alright though. Normally the grip gets a lot better when the track cools down in the late afternoon, so that helped but the wind changed and the way the wind turned actually made the track slower.
“I think the low fuel pace looks competitive, but probably too competitive for now. I do like it but I expect Ferrari and Mercedes to sneak further ahead tomorrow.
“But in general it was a good day. We couldn’t really ask for more. The long runs looked like they had a bit more pace so that was probably a bit more representative. I think we did what we had to do today so I’m happy. Let’s make tomorrow a good one also.”