While attempting to qualify on the ultrasofts, Ferrari soon came to realise – not least courtesy of some forthright radio feedback from Kimi Raikkonen – that it would not be possible, as a result the Finn and his teammate will start today’s race, like everyone else, on the pink banded rubber.
The move to hypers from the Italian team, has offered Ricciardo hope.
“I have optimism in that Ferrari tried to get through Q2 with ultras,” he told reporters. “That tells me they didn’t want to start on the hypers so they may run into problems.
“I think a one stop is going to be tight regardless,” he admitted. “So strategy, or someone running on the track like 2015 might help me out this time.”
“It’s going to be so hard to overtake,” he admitted. “I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but strategy is going to be our best option. Being out of track position, the reality is pushing on someone and being able to overtake is slim.
“The best case is to try and preserve the tyres, go long and make a one-stop work. Hopefully some guys are two stopping and it gives us a chance for the one stop.”