Sebastian Vettel is sure Ferrari will be stronger in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix after failing to match the pace of Red Bull on Friday.
Red Bull Racing, likewise, looked strong during the long-run simulations, placing the race firmly within the team's grasp if it has the pace to overcome Mercedes's qualifying engine mode this evening (Sept 16) in the fight for pole position.
It all started during the last grand prix when Hamilton's vehicle tyre pressure was slightly over the limit and since it came into notice they have been below par to say the least. It was Red Bull fastest though, with Ricciardo leading Vettel and then Verstappen.
But the 28-year-old, who won for Red Bull this year in Baku and scored the team's last pole position in Monaco last year, believes his vehicle has an edge over Vettel's Ferrari in race conditions.
"The drivers extracted everything there was from the vehicle - we've been quickest in every single session this weekend, and then the one that really counts. we just don't have that last little bit", he reflected.
"And by letting people who are following me know, maybe that will encourage a couple of people to do the same thing".
Vetttel was expectedly ecstatic after snatching the pole from Red Bull. "Then we come to the two hardest, here and Malaysia", Ricciardo observed.
"I took a little bit of risk to put down a good lap as we had predicted the others would improve from yesterday and this morning's sessions".
The pair won four consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles together at the turn of the decade but the relationship has been fractious since a new 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power unit was introduced in 2014.
Nico Hulkenberg was best-of-the rest in seventh for Renault, just ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso. It requires a bit more sacrifice I guess. The Spaniard's team-mate followed him by clocking the ninth fastest time, while his Spanish counterpart Carlos Sainz sealed tenth spot, to complete the top 10 of the grid.
Force India were eliminated in Q2 with Sergio Perez finishing 12th fastest after complaining about his tyres.
The drivers eliminated in first session were Kevin Magnussen, Massa, Stroll, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.