It brought an end to Ricciardo's morning but the team managed to get Nico Hulkenberg back on track in the afternoon to complete 95 laps and set the eighth fastest time.
But after Vettel impressed the Barcelona paddock with his laptime on Monday, the German said: "From the outside the team is different". "I think he is in the seat for a reason and I have to take it very seriously".
Such a large difference in pace is likely to be down to differing fuel loads - a quarter of a tank of fuel is worth over a second in lap time difference - but Sebastian Vettel finished his first day in the Ferrari on Monday claiming it was close to "perfection".
Though we won't truly know where the manufacturers are until the chequered flag brings the opening race to a close in Albert Park, the teams around the paddock are still desperate to get off to a good start this week and get laps under their belts.
When cars start running during testing, one of the things I always listen out for is the gearchanges.
Fifth was Antonio Giovinazzi - just as Kimi Raikkonen was for Alfa Romeo on day one - as the Italian just crept above the 100-lap mark at the end of the day.
Lewis Hamilton has spoken for the first time since getting an official run in his brand new Mercedes W10 which he enjoyed at testing at Barcelona on Monday, and he seems content with the performance so far, saying it was great to see the auto running "smoothly". We're testing his reaction skills.
The Frenchman looked mortified to have crashed on his first day in a new auto following his promotion to a top team, after spending past year with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso.More news: 'Can't wait to make great memories': Search resumes for missing tourists
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His team-mate Valtteri Bottas was also happy with the run-out in the morning session.
"It's been a good day overall", said Hamilton.
"We were focusing on working through our run plan and we got through everything we wanted", Hamilton said. "It was quite cold in the morning, so switching the tyres on was a little bit tricky, but it seemed like a few people had similar issues".
"Days like this and a start like this are quite rewarding, with a lot of laps on the clock and a general good feeling for the vehicle". "As you have seen, they are racking up great mileage as well and it appears that they have a better package than they had last year, which means it is going to be even more of a challenge for us this year".
"And I still love racing so nothing really changes there".
Red Bull's Pierre Gasly had a crash late in the day, while world champion Lewis Hamilton was 10th for Mercedes.
"This afternoon, I was pushing and out of Turn 10 I went on the power, upshifted to fifth and lost the rear of the auto".