Daniel Ricciardo has admitted Red Bull has some catching up to do in the few short weeks before Melbourne.
“We are not where we would like to be,” the team’s new number 1 driver was quoted by Speed Week after the second winter test began in Barcelona.
“Others are further ahead than us.”
At Jerez, the 2010-2013 world championship-winning team struggled for laps and pace. On Thursday at the Circuit de Catalunya, Ricciardo was third quickest after doing 59 laps.
He said: “The car feels ok. We are moving forward.”
Ricciardo confirmed reports that the biggest issue is the RB11’s turbo V6 engine, after works supplier Renault made big organisational and technical changes over the winter.
“The biggest thing is the driveability of the engine,” he admitted. “But we knew it would take some time.
“On the other hand, I have not changed my mind — when it comes down to it in Australia, we will be there.”
Ricciardo said Red Bull has made progress since a troubled test at Jerez.
“We did not do 100 laps today,” he acknowledged, “but there was nothing major that meant an engine change, as was the case in Jerez.
“It is too early to be frustrated,” said the Australian. “On the other hand, testing can be a little frustrating generally, but I won’t be worried unless we are lagging behind after a few races.”
According to Auto Motor und Sport, the 25-year-old continued: “I can feel that the engine has a few more horses, but we need to work on driveability.
“Also with the car we are not where we want to be,” Ricciardo added. (GMM)