Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo opened his points’ scoring account in today’s Australian Grand Prix. The Australian finished the first race of the year in sixth position. Team-mate Daniil Kvyat had a frustrating start to his season after he failed to start when a gearbox problem struck on the formation lap.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s new recruits Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen enjoyed impressive debuts in Australia. After qualifying in seventh, Sainz secured his first points with ninth overall despite a long delay in a pit stop. Verstappen also looked set to score on his maiden race but a technical issue brought his race to a premature end.
Key race points:
Just 11 cars finished the season opening race after a litany of issues throughout the field.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified in sixth position and held station throughout the race. The Australian made two pit stops.
Daniil Kvyat pulled up on the formation lap with a gearbox problem and did not start the race.
Carlos Sainz was running in fifth however a problem with the left rear tyre in his first pit stop dropped him out of the top ten. He made a strong recovery drive, just losing eighth position to Marcus Ericsson two laps from the end.
A suspected problem with the ICE on Max Verstappen’s car on lap 34 caused the Dutchman to pull up on the side of the track while running in the points.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
From the start of the weekend we’ve faced a number of technical issues, both at Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Reliability has been below par, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen suffering ICE problems. The two are not related and we are already investigating a recovery programme to make sure we do not see a repeat. The biggest issue has been the driveability, which has made it hard for all the drivers to feel comfortable in the cars. It affects pedal application and confidence in the corners so has cost lap time and points this weekend. It’s related to the maps, or the way the Power Unit is configured, so while it’s definitely not an easy fix, it does not require a complete redesign. We have got a lot of work to do before Malaysia but equally a lot of motivation to not repeat the same issues we had this weekend.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
The weekend has been very frustrating. We know that we made genuine progress over the winter but we could not show it here and in fact we would even seem to have moved backwards. Given the pace at which we conducted our development programme towards the last few weeks of the winter, there may not be lots to change to be able to access these improvements. Now, we need to react, but not overreact, and get back to some basic common sense that has always driven our approach in all these years of F1 engine development. The season will be long, we have the time and the capacity to react and get this very bad start of the 2015 season behind us.