Daniel Ricciardo has hailed the Bahrain Grand Prix as a much better race since it became a night race two years ago.
Of course, correspondingly, his results have improved at the track in the same time period. The 26-year-old Australian hadn’t scored points in his first two cracks at the race in 2012 and 2013 with Scuderia Toro Rosso, although a sixth place qualifying run with Toro Rosso there in 2012 marked him as a future man to watch.
The last two years, Ricciardo has finished fourth and sixth. Even though he’s unlikely to score a podium on the Red Bull RB12 TAG Heuer’s outright pace, he’s still confident to maintain the momentum after finishing fourth in Melbourne to open the season two weeks ago.
“I think the track’s always been pretty fun to race on, I feel I’ve always had good results at this track, and there are good places for overtaking,” Ricciardo said in the team’s pre-race advance.
“Since it’s been a night race it’s become a lot more exciting. The tires last a bit longer and you can push a bit harder throughout the race so it’s been a good challenge the last few years and a place I’ve always enjoyed.
“There’s not really one standout corner that’s like ‘woah’ but it’s all pretty cool and the middle sector is quite fun.
Ricciardo noted that between Bahrain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, it’s good to have a handful of night races without there being too many.
“Night races are fun, for whatever reason it feels like you go a bit faster at night, so it’s exciting,” he said. “If every race was a night race it wouldn’t have that same atmosphere so it’s cool that we have a few across the year.”