Red Bull is running the updated Renault unit for the first time at Interlagos this weekend, with only Ricciardo using it during Friday's two practice sessions. Having warned the expected lap time gain would be around 0.1s, while Ricciardo was faster than team-mate Daniil Kvyat in both FP1 and FP2 he says the performance difference was very small.
“Reliable, we did a lot of laps," Ricciardo said when asked about the update. "But obviously I’ve got Danny’s [Kvyat] old one to compared to and to be honest not as much power as we were expecting from it for now.
"To be fair it’s the first day of running it for the guys so obviously Renault can have a look at everything tonight and I’m sure find a few little things here and there to extract from it tomorrow. But nothing too obvious from my side at the moment.”
Ricciardo will take a ten place grid penalty for using the power unit, and he says the hoped for improvement in drivability was also not visible during its first day of running.
“To be honest it’s pretty similar to the old one. The positive was I got out the box today and it was fine, everything worked as it should. It feels a little bit fresher but not too much different other than that.”
Finishing fourth in FP1 and fifth in the second session, Ricciardo expects Red Bull to have a tough time trying to defend that position on Saturday.
"If we can stay … top 5 for us on this track is really good, so I am not sure we can expect to stay there, but that is the target, so we try to do that. Today was a pretty smooth day, so it is nice to have Fridays like this. Normally when we have a Friday like this the weekend goes a bit better."
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