Raikkonen fastest in Bahrain 2nd practice

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Australian Grand Prix

"We will start in fourth place now with Lewis's penalty so I think it is going to be exciting".

Verstappen, though, is hoping that he can at least recover from 15th to fifth.

Red Bull's optimism for a front row challenge was hit in Q1 when Verstappen received a sudden surge of 150bhp exiting Turn 2, spinning him into the barrier and damaging his front-left suspension. "That might make it a bit more hard, but it'll be more exciting too".

Daniel Ricciardo gave Red Bull a boost by posting the fastest time in the first practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday. He escaped a grid penalty for Sunday's race and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100). However, they around a second a lap adrift of the top three.

Red Bull was frequently adrift of the Mercedes/Ferrari axis across one-lap in 2017, and again Ricciardo was unable to live with the pace of its opponents, as he wound up fifth fastest. That shows how Gasly had to deliver and he duly did, with an impressive final run putting him best of the rest behind the Ferraris, Mercedes and Ricciardo.

"It is not a long shot and I think it is in reach so I am looking forward to that so hopefully in 24 hours time we can do a pretty cool interview after the race".

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"Although we were untroubled by any reliability issues, and we ran through our programme as expected, it wasn't our best day from a performance point of view", said Mercedes technical head James Allison.

"I think that it's never happened for me in my livelihood, something such as this".

"Part of me is disappointed that we are so close but still at the tail of the lead pack in qualifying, but I don't think I could really have done much better", said Ricciardo. "We know that in the race we are still struggling a little bit on this".

If there was a race in which McLaren did not need to be beaten by Toro Rosso at the start of the season, Bahrain is probably it.

Verstappen headed into the qualifying session with the hope he could get his auto high up on the grid for tomorrow's race. Hamilton was over a second off Ricciardo's lap and eight-tenths off the time set by Vettel in fourth.

The team needs a good outing after the poor showing in Melbourne. "And this track you can overtake at". He got out and helped stewards wheel it back to the team garage. "We have a good auto".

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