Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo says that he is hoping the alternate strategy he chose will give him an advantage over the Mercedes drivers at the beginning of tomorrow’s race.

The Australian chose to run the conservative option in qualifying and use the super soft tyres to ease his way into Q3, while Mercedes and his team mate Max Verstappen opted to gamble on the softs which will allow them to run a longer first stint.

“I was a bit more comfortable on the super-soft tyre yesterday in the long runs,” Ricciardo said post qualifying.

“That was the reason for that and hopefully it gives me a bit of a better launch off the line, we’ll see.

“I’m the only one on the first two rows that starts on the super-softs. Sure, that tyre probably won’t last as long but it might give me a bit of an advantage at the start.

Red Bull remain Mercedes’ biggest threat for tomorrow’s race, especially given the race simulation lap times Ricciardo was posting during the second practice session which were better than what either Mercedes driver could achieve.

While Mercedes may not have had their engine turned up to full volume or they were running a higher fuel load, Red Bull still has a chance to come into the mix for the podium positions.

“We’ll see how tomorrow plays out. Track conditions changed quite a bit today, they should be similar tomorrow as we did today. That could have a bit of an influence but we did look good yesterday.

“We’ve got a good buffer over Ferrari. I think the car was working pretty well, I think we’ve got a good chance tomorrow so let’s see what we can do.

“It is a good circuit around here and you can do overtaking, a few corners where you can change line and a few things, it’s not a one-line circuit, there’s some experiments you can do. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Image via Red Bull Content Pool

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Josh Kruse

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