Daniel Ricciardo says his Red Bull car set up is “nearly identical” to team-mate Max Verstappen’s despite the significant gap between their qualifying performances, but concedes he’s been on the negative side of that trend too often in 2017.

Ricciardo out-qualified his team-mate by 0.389s at the Yas Marina circuit, which saw him jump ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to take fourth place in qualifying with Verstappen in sixth, to mark a strong end to his 2017 Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Australian driver admitted he ran a near-identical set-up on his RB13 to team-mate Verstappen as he was able to profit while the Dutchman has continually struggled all race weekend to uncover the same performance.

Despite profiting this weekend Ricciardo feels the reverse has occurred too many times this season where he’s lost out to Verstappen even when they’ve run like-for-like cars.

“The set up is nearly identical from what I know,” Ricciardo said. “There will always be things different, he might run the brake balance a little bit forwards or rearwards. It will never be identical, but generally speaking we have been in the same direction this weekend. He has certainly struggled a lot more than me this weekend.

“I have been in that position a few times this year, a few too many. Sometimes you don’t really have an answer why. Like Brazil, I was three or fourth tenths off in qualifying and didn’t really know why.

“Generally, he has been less happy this weekend. The main reason I am not really sure.”

Ricciardo is hoping to defend his fourth place in the F1 drivers’ championship at the final round this weekend having seen Raikkonen move to seven points behind him last time out in Brazil.