Daniel Ricciardo finds Red Bull pace 'encouraging' yet 'frustrating' at Bahrain GP

09 April, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Cary Erickson
  • GETTYSebastian Vettel won the season opener in Melbourne

"Yesterday our race pace didn't look bad but I think our auto in FP2 wasn't as good as it is now, so it's encouraging to know that our vehicle should be even better tomorrow and hopefully it puts us in the fight".

The two Ferraris were the only ones to dip into the one minute 29 second bracket, with Valtteri Bottas half a second off Raikkonen's benchmark with what was reigning champions Mercedes' best effort.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth quickest in P1, as he welcomes the chance to move on from the disappointment of the opening Grand Prix of 2018.

Verstappen had just set set the fourth fastest time in the first round of qualifying when the accident happened. "Basically we were doing another lap to get the engine to learn a little bit more in order to optimise its settings".

"The vehicle feels OK, but we still need to find some pace, especially for a single lap", Bottas said. He escaped a grid penalty for Sunday's race and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100).

His time in the Friday afternoon session was not representative of his actual pace, however, as Hamilton locked up in his Mercedes while on his fastest lap before then reporting his tires were "dead". The British driver had a tricky session, twice taking his Mercedes too wide on corners and finishing more than one second behind Ricciardo.

It wasn't all doom and gloom for Red Bull, however, as Verstappen's team-mate Ricciardo topped the timesheets.

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The spin, followed by a slide into the barrier in this instance, was Verstappen's second in as many weeks, as he spun his vehicle after sustaining damage to the floor in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver got out and helped stewards wheel the auto back to the team garage.

"I learned the data immediately once I arrived on the scene of this auto as for me it had been also a significant surprise", Verstappen informed reporters.

"It was not ideal to miss so much track time".

In Saturday's qualifying, but it sent with an extra 150 horsepower as Verstappen exited the second area, causing his vehiclersquo;s rear brakes to break grip using the track and also pitch him off.

Hamilton blitzed the competition in Melbourne qualifying, but a team strategy error saw him beaten in the race by main title rival Sebastian Vettel.

"I think tomorrow we'll be better than sixth for sure, and the race will be better than that again".


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