Daniel Ricciardo has spoken about the challenges that the timings of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend pose to the drivers and teams in terms of car set-up.
The Australian started his 2018 season off strongly with competitive fourth place finish at his home Grand Prix, hassling third placed Kimi Räikkönen relentlessly in the second half of the race. Ricciardo was in a buoyant mood after the event, suggesting that the performance shows that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing are getting closer to front-runners Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The 28-year-old is in an optimistic frame of mind going into Bahrain next weekend, a track he has found consistency at – although he is yet to record a podium finish at the Bahrain International Circuit. Whilst Ricciardo was complimentary about the unique desert setting, he admitted that it isn’t without its challenges.
“Bahrain is great,” said Ricciardo. “The weather is warm, the paddock is modern, the hotel is amazing and it’s a really nice week that I enjoy after such a busy home race in Australia.”
Having joined Singapore as a full night race in 2014, the first and third Free Practice sessions take place in the hotter afternoons, with second Free Practice, Qualifying and the race taking place under floodlit conditions. Ricciardo noted that the teams have to be very careful and adaptive with car set-ups, even if promising pace is shown in the day sessions.
“It’s actually quite a tricky event as the practice sessions are in the heat of the day,” the Australian added.
“But the important sessions, qualifying and the race, are in the evening when the track cools so you have to be very adaptive with the set-up.
“Normally if you’re quick you don’t want to touch the car but in Bahrain you are forced to as the conditions change so much in the evenings. The track is one that I’ve always done well on so let’s hope it continues to be good to me.”