Ricciardo encouraged by Red Bull night pace

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Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull seems to fare better in cooler conditions after sunset, although the Australian was closer to the table-topping time in FP1 than during the night session at Sakhir.

The three-time grand prix winner finished P5 in the opening free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix held in the afternoon heat, and set a time that was only slightly over half a second adrift of Kimi Raikkonen’s benchmark.

The second running saw Ricciardo clock the sixth fastest time, more than eight tenths off pace setter Nico Rosberg.

However, the Red Bull driver feels his Renault-powered RB11 is performing better under the floodlights, especially in terms of one-lap speed.

“We look a bit more competitive in the cooler conditions,” said Ricciardo. “To be honest, the morning session did not go too bad but P2 looked a bit better. Low fuel pace, again we seem to be there or thereabouts, which is promising.

“High-fuel stuff, I have not really had a look at. I’m probably a bit more happy on low-fuel to be honest. I think the car is pretty decent. I think we’re there or thereabouts where we need to be.”

Asked on his target for tomorrow’s qualifying session, Ricciardo hopes Red Bull can challenge Williams as the third-quickest team.

“I hope it should be closer but they always seem to give a little bit more on Saturday. I think we’ll give a bit more tomorrow but we’ll see. Hopefully, it’s close.”

Click here for Friday's gallery from the Bahrain Grand Prix 

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