Daniel Ricciardo believes it will be harder for Red Bull Racing to break into the top-five this weekend in China.
Ricciardo has begun the 2016 season in fine form, finishing 'best of the rest' in fourth position in both Australia and last time out in Bahrain.
However, he doesn't think the Shanghai International Circuit will necessarily suit the RB12 and is expecting a tough challenge from the Williams' and the Toro Rossos.
“Looking for it but probably not expecting it as much,” he said on Thursday, when asked if he can repeat what he did in Bahrain. “The nature of the track doesn't suit us as much as Bahrain for two reasons. Because it is a front limited circuit and the likes of Williams and Toro Rosso will benefit from that.
“Where we have a little bit is rear wear in Bahrain when I look at it, I think here having less rear wear they will be able to get away with it. I expect it will be harder to crack the top five here but if we do I think it will be another good one for us.”
Asked if the type of corners don't necessarily suit Red Bull either, he added: “It is one of those ones… the middle sector, the fast flowing circuit is good for our car but then again you have the long straight. We don't lose as much as we did a year ago but I expect what we gain through there [the middle sector] on the straight Williams will gain it back and maybe a little bit more. It could be close but I won't get excited for now.”
Ricciardo also added that they will have to think carefully about how they set-up the car: “I would say we still have to run less downforce than optimum, if we want to be in good race shape. On the simulations I think a high downforce is package is quick here on one lap but it makes us more vulnerable for a race.
“It is one we have to work out, but we tend to run less than we always want to because we need every little K we can get on the straight.”