Daniel Ricciardo says there were “positive signs” from the RB11 despite a trouble-hit day for Red Bull at Jerez.
Having rolled out in the new car - sporting a camouflage testing livery - at 0900, Ricciardo stopped after 22 laps when smoke started emerging from the rear of the car. Despite a later setback also meaning he was unable to add more than 13 laps to the total, Ricciardo said the feelings from the Renault power unit especially were encouraging.
“I think there’s some positive signs today,” Ricciardo said. “I can’t give too much away but we understand what we’re running here and I think it’s good. We still need to refine a few things with drivability - normal things for the start of the year - but generally I think it’s what we expected.
“It’s still to early to say [if it’s a step forward] but I think it is. We’ll see in Melbourne when everyone’s even but for now after the first day I think there’s some positive signs.
“Obviously we didn't do a whole lot of laps but more than last year. It was encouraging to get on track at nine, the boys got the car ready overnight. I think in general everything is behaving as it should, obviously we had some issues here and there but once the car’s running it seems pretty normal. So a good day one and obviously keep improving from here.”
And Ricciardo wasn’t too concerned with the mileage Mercedes was able to complete as Nico Rosberg managed 157 laps.
“They’ll probably use all of their mileage up before the race and then we’ll see! It’s not really a surprise, they obviously came out with a pretty awesome package last year and they’re probably just refining and perfecting that even more this year. So I’m not surprised, especially with their reliability, but it’s a lot of laps for day one.”
Click here for the full gallery of the first day of testing at Jerez