Red Bull not as slow as expected, says Ricciardo

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull are pleased to discover their car is more competitive than they expected.

After a fraught winter testing the RB10 ran reliably on the first day in Melbourne, covering 115 laps of the Albert Park track – equivalent to more than two race distances.

“We know a little bit more now which is good,” Ricciardo told reporters after the second practice session. “But at the same time I won’t get ahead of ourselves.”

“Fact is it’s Friday, today was really good, we got a lot of laps done. You could see the atmosphere is a bit more bubbly, the guys are happy, the car’s running and completing lap after lap.

“And the performance doesn’t seem as slow as we expected so what I do know is we’re coming, we’re coming.”

Red Bull were the third-fastest team when the chequered flag dropped on the second practice session. Sebastian Vettel lapped within three-quarters of a second of the pace-setting Mercedes drivers.

But Ricciardo said he needs to close the gap to his team mate.

“After the day we had it’s motivating for me and the whole team so really looking forward to driving tomorrow,” he said.

“Still a little bit off Seb so you know I’ve still got a bit of work to do but pretty pleased with the day.”

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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28 comments on Red Bull not as slow as expected, says Ricciardo

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 14th March 2014, 8:44

    I never really expected their car to be off the pace so much in terms of an aero perspective, because their chief aerodynamicist does a pretty good job ;)

    As long as the Renault engine can produce a competitive amount of power, and is reliable, then Red Bull will be right at the sharp end.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2014, 9:13

      I guess the real test is the sunday when its more about that reliability @tophercheese21. For now, I am happy to settle for seemingly 3-4 teams with cars that could be more or less in the mix pace wise

    • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 14th March 2014, 9:24

      Crofty was saying that the Renault engines have a better start compared to others… Maybe that will come in handy…

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th March 2014, 10:03

      Indeed, Horner made me laugh when he said Merc lap them twice. Thank God he was kidding… ;)

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 14th March 2014, 14:52

        I’d call it deliberately misleading, something he’s very good at.

      • @jcost Horner just showed he isn’t man enough to live with the responsibility, thankfully for them pushing Renault actually meant that they have bettered their turbo in time for the deadline and now everything can go forward from that point. Considering everything RedBull look just as good aero and chassis wise as in Melbourne 2013 but they must hope they have a perennial problem as they did last season.

        • Albrecht said on 14th March 2014, 21:23

          @peartree

          Horner just showed he isn’t man enough to live with the responsibility

          The past four years the current improvement of the Red Bull show the exact opposite.

          We should be careful with the amount of judgement we pass on people we haven’t even met, especially if one of those people is an incredibly successful team leader.

    • Renault’s problems were to due to their turbo, Renault said the energy side was very good, but obviously with these engines everything goes past the turbo, so when it goes bad everything goes bad. On the positive side after you mend the turbo everything else comes to the fore and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the Renault engine is already where Renault wants it to be beyond the concept there’s plenty of software mapping to do, meaning that they have employed thousands of people to work 24/7 on the mapping to get the best output from their units.

  2. Red Bull were the third-fastest team when the chequered flag dropped on the second practice session. Sebastian Vettel lapped within three-quarters of a second of the pace-setting Mercedes drivers.

    I’m pretty sure Alonso was 3rd. :)

  3. The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 14th March 2014, 9:10

    Slightly off-topic but the RB10 looked absolutely stunning, especially from overhead. I’m not a fan of RB’s livery but otherwise the car is a beaut.

    Interestingly, now that I’ve seen it in action on the circuit, I don’t think the Williams looks as “special” as I’d hoped which is a shame. More Martini stripes please guys.

  4. OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 14th March 2014, 9:24

    Is this the B-spec car we heard about?

    • erix said on 14th March 2014, 11:37

      Before you know it..remember MP4-17/D?

    • MattDS said on 14th March 2014, 12:08

      According to Vettel earlier this week, the interiors of the car have been reworked while the outside hasn’t been compromised.
      I don’t know at which point one starts talking about a B-spec car but with the outer lines, crash structure, tub etc the same, i wouldn’t call it B-spec.

      Remember, rumors are being started very fast in F1 and they spread like fire. The B-spec thing was a rumor.

  5. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 14th March 2014, 9:35

    I didn’t really expect them to be slow but they are allot more reliable then I expected.

  6. I was pleasently surprised by their free practice perfomance. It still appears Mercedes have a commanding pace advantage over the rest of the field – in the region of half a second – but Red Bull are by far the most competitive Renault team on the basis of the first two practice sessions.

    The Toro Rosso on that note looks an absolutely horrible car to control under braking: clearly a lot of work is needed to improve that facet of the car. Lotus seemed to continue their miserable winter with an unreliable and not particularly fast car (with noticeable stability issues), and Caterham had a complete failure of a day. Which is very surprising, as they appeared to have the most reliable Renault car in pre-season testing.

    But perhaps one of the more surprising observations was the Williams seemingly lacking an element of stability. I imagine they were merely running higher fuel loads, but it is McLaren that appears to me to be the team closest in pursuit of Mercedes.

    And weirdly, Ferrari may have a better qualifying car than a race car. That can’t stand them in good stead, for their drivers are far more renowned for their racing than qualifying perfomances.

  7. JCost (@jcost) said on 14th March 2014, 10:25

    Seems to me Renault has done a great job and sleep-less nights at Milton Keynes has paid-off. It’s too soon but they should be fighting for the front sooner than later.

  8. Sam Andrew said on 14th March 2014, 11:22

    Ah I love all the pointless pre season speculation; I think pole position is going to be very close between the Redbulls, Alonso and the Mercs

  9. David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2014, 12:31

    My favourite team doing pretty nicely. But what on earth descended upon caterham?

  10. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 14th March 2014, 12:51

    Don’t rule out Magnussen and Button…

  11. karter22 (@karter22) said on 14th March 2014, 14:37

    I knew this was all scripted… “Oh the endless and sleepless nights just to arrive in form and battle against “superior” machinery… The glory of overcoming troubles is within reach”
    It just reads as a novel.
    In the end ” having fought a rough winter, having sorted a rough season, SV and RBR rose to the ocasion like the proverbial phoenix. Who can stop them?”

    If all this happens, somebody get me a bag to barf in…

  12. Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 14th March 2014, 18:14

    Seeing the Red Bulls perform so well was a surprise, and a good one at that. Their reliability, after what we’ve witnessed in pre-season testing, is nothing short of miraculous. It seems that Herr Helmut-Head (Marko)’s programmer army has indeed wrought positive changes. I just hope those changes are going back to Renault and thence to the other Renault-powered teams. Daniel Ricciardo also surprised me with how well he performed. I hadn’t really rated him in the past but the Red Bull/Toro Rosso spotters must have seen the talent. On the strength of FP2 he seems to warrant a place alongside Vettel, for a year at least and hopefully more.

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