Daniel Ricciardo says it is unrealistic for him to target finishing on the podium in tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix.

A ten-place grid penalty - the result of an unsafe release in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix - will see Ricciardo start from 13th place on Sunday after an impressive qualifying performance to take third behind the two Mercedes. However, Ricciardo believes his target has to be to move up in to the top ten during the race rather than aiming too high based on his qualifying pace.

"I would love to charge through and have a podium after the 57 or so laps [but] I think realistically we just have to get some points to start with," Ricciardo said. "The season has been going well but I don't have any points to show for it so far.

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"So that's the first target, but in saying that I don't think we need to be conservative. We need to push; we are obviously out of position starting 13th so I will do what I can and obviously if there's an opportunity to move forwards then I'll take it. Hopefully we'll be able to put some points on the board."

Looking at the gap in lap times to Mercedes, Ricciardo said he was pleased to be able to get closer in qualifying than he had been during final practice in the heat.

"I'm really pleased with the performance. We've still got some ground to make on them but I'm really pleased with qualifying tonight. It's been really tricky; the temperature drops a lot for these evening sessions and in FP3 we were a long way off the pace but it's turned around this evening. It's nice to close the gap.

"Tomorrow unfortunately I don't stay at the front here, but I've got a little bit of work to do to move forward from there."