Daniill Kvyat believes the fight for 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes could be closely fought in Abu Dhabi after a competitive start to the weekend for the chasing teams, including Red Bull.
Just two tenths would cover third down to eighth, a group consisting of both Ferraris, Force Indias and Red Bulls, while the drivers from all three teams anticipate Williams will get into the mix as it often does on Saturdays.
Indeed, with Kvyat – who was seventh fastest - feeling Red Bull has pace representative of its FP2 result, he expects the fight to get up to third position to be competitive.
“It looks really tight, starting from P3 onwards,” he said. “At the moment it looks like an open battle but we don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. We are aiming to fight for those positions there more or less.”
The Russian, who will finish the season ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo if he can defend a 10 point margin this weekend, is looking forward to the challenge.
“At the moment it looks like it is going to be an interesting race. There is going to be plenty to fight for. Hopefully tomorrow we will correct the things we have to correct, and we will be in the right place.”