Today’s Chinese Grand Prix came to a disappointing conclusion with just one Renault-powered car collecting points. Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo finished in ninth position, having recovered from a slow start off the line. Scuderia Toro Rosso passed the flag in 14th position with Carlos Sainz.
Key race points:
Daniel Ricciardo had a very slow start from seventh on the grid and dropped back to P17 at the end of the first lap. Despite setting a good pace, the Australian was caught in traffic and progress through the field was tricky. After a two stop race he finished in ninth.
Daniil Kvyat retired on lap 16 with an ICE failure.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen put in another fighting performance, overtaking multiple cars throughout the race. The Dutchman looked set for eighth position but just two laps from the end stopped suddenly on the pit straight with an ICE problem.
Team-mate Carlos Sainz enjoyed a good start, but spun on the second lap and dropped down the order. A reported gearbox problem mid race caused a momentary loss of power but heavy traffic made it difficult to make an impression on the field. The Spaniard came home in 14th.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
We had a number of issues in China and did not give the drivers the equipment they needed. We developed a car system problem in Qualifying on Daniel’s car so we changed the ICE as a precaution. Then we had two unforeseen failures in the race. At the present time we believe Daniil [Kvyat] and Max [Verstappen] experienced the same problem with the ICE. We ran a similar specification in the dyno and on track for several hundred miles without any issues, so we need to understand why. We have dyno tests planned for next week to come back to form in Bahrain.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
As a company, we hold our hands up when it’s our problem, and today that was the case. China did not suit us on a performance level, which we expected, but we also had reliability issues, which we did not. Introducing new Power Units across cars earlier than expected unfortunately meant some issues from the first specification were carried over. It created another challenge to manage, but we believed we had them under control. We have already spoken with Red Bull and Toro Rosso and there’s not much more to say apart from we have to investigate the reasons for the failures and put in place countermeasures for 100% reliability as quickly as possible. With just five days to go, we know that Sakhir will be another test for us. But we will react to counter the issues, just as we did with the driveability situation encountered in Melbourne; now at its best level of the V6 era just two races later. The tougher it gets, the higher our motivation.