Ricciardo remaining positive despite no engine gains


Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo remained positive after the first day of Formula One testing despite no immediate gains from his Renault power unit. 

The Australian accumulated 87 laps in the new RB12 chassis, finishing third fastest on the day behind Sebastian Vettel and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel posted a time of one minute, 24.939 seconds around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, followed by Hamilton (+0.470) and Ricciardo (+1.105).

However, despite Red Bull's Renault engine feeling the same as it did at the end of last season, Ricciardo said it was not necessarily a bad thing.

"It pretty much feels like we ended last season, which isn't a bad thing I think on day one," he said.

"It's a much better platform to work from than what we had this time last year. It was good - there wasn't any sort of whiplash or anything like that.

"We're still not on race trim in terms of power and we don't have all the bits bolted on at the moment - for now it's as expected. 

"The team said 'expect something similar to last year for the first test at least' and it's pretty much that for now."

A normal race at Barcelona lasts roughly 66 laps, and Ricciardo was left pleased with the reliability of the new chassis.

"I think we had a few little things here and there, but we still managed nearly 90 laps today," he said.

"I think generally, it's a good first day. Just for me, I'd say it's a day of testing reliability, for me seeing how I am after a long off-season and how the body is, and for the team it's seeing how the car is. Where it's reliable and where not so.

"With the few little issues we had, we still managed to get some good long runs. I think that was important today, to get some good 15-lap runs to make sure the car is not overheating or doing anything silly.

"We can then find the pace, I think, quite easily, it's just the reliability that's the first thing you want to try and solve."