Camouflaged RB11 is a step forward, declares last year’s three-time race winner.
Daniel Ricciardo pronounced himself happy with the first day of running with his new Red Bull-Renault RB11, despite some niggling reliability issues.
He ended the day fourth fastest, behind former team-mate Sebastian Vettel (now of Ferrari), Sauber’s surprise package Marcus Ericsson and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Ricciardo logged 35 laps, but did suffer battery and engine problems during the opening day.
“It seemed OK, we got going pretty well this morning and got a few laps under my belt,” said Ricciardo. “We didn’t do a whole lot of laps, but more than last year! The boys got the car ready overnight, and everything is behaving as it should.
“A good day one, and we will keep improving from here. First impressions are good, so far, everything seems pretty encouraging.
“There are some positive signs today. We understand what we’re running here, and it’s good. We still need to refine driveability, but generally it’s positive. Too early to say [if it’s a big step forward] but I think it is.”
But he admits Mercedes is impressive
Ricciardo admitted he felt that Renault had made a step with the engine, but was also impressed with the huge amount of laps that Rosberg ran (157) with the Mercedes.
“Its not really a surprise, they had a pretty awesome package last year,” he said. “But that’s a lot of laps for day one, yeah!”