Daniel Ricciardo has admitted a similar race result to that of his qualifying position for the Russian Grand Prix would probably signal the end of his already slim F1 title hopes.

The Australian found himself outside the top ten after Friday practice and warned Red Bull would be in for a tough weekend, but while team-mate Sebastian Vettel struggled in qualifying, Ricciardo would secure seventh on the grid.

Though satisfied with the position itself - which becomes sixth once Kevin Magnussen takes his grid penalty -, Ricciardo concedes if Lewis Hamilton wins from pole position and he can't make significant gains, he can probably bid farewell to his title dreams with three races remaining.

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"If, say, Hamilton wins tomorrow and I stay in seventh then I think realistically there is probably not much more we can get out of the title fight. It doesn't stop us from trying to do our best every race but it is becoming a bit tricky from now."

As for the qualifying session itself, though Ricciardo was not thrilled with the result, he says after the struggles of the weekend thus far he is content with what will become a third row start.

"Looking at this morning it would have been nice to stay in the top five, but we couldn't find that extra bit this afternoon. It seemed like track had ramped up so much over the weekend and then in qualifying it stayed still. After yesterday, I would have taken seventh though."

Ricciardo is 73 points behind leader Hamilton with three races remaining and a maximum of 125 points available, including the double point Abu Dhabi finale.