Daniel Ricciardo’s home grand prix weekend got off to a difficult start on Friday when Red Bull was forced to change the engine on his car after just one practice session in Australia.
Teams have been allocated four power units for the season in 2015, but Ricciardo has been forced to make an early change due to a problem with the internal combustion engine (ICE) on his car.
The Australian does not believe that this will affect his seasonal quota, but was still disappointed to lose the entire second practice session on Friday because of the problem.
“In FP1 it took us a while to get going and we didn’t get out straightaway,” Ricciardo explained. “A problem with the ICE meant we couldn’t run in FP2, but it’s a problem that we can fix for tomorrow.
“There’s a lot of time to do what we need, so there’s no concerns – it wasn’t worth rushing it to get five laps this afternoon. We don’t believe it will affect one of the four engines, so it’s not a massive shot in the foot.”
Throughout the off-season, Ricciardo could hardly contain his excitement to get back racing after an impressive display in 2014, and made no secret of his frustration on Friday in Melbourne.
“The whole week’s been a bit of a tease,” Ricciardo said. “We’ve talked about racing a lot and haven’t done much of it. I’m more and more anxious to drive, so I’ve got ants in my pants.”
Ricciardo has been joined at Red Bull in 2015 by Daniil Kvyat, who acts as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement. The Russian had a far less problematic day than Ricciardo, completing 45 laps in total.
“Everything went quite well and according to plan today,” Kvyat said. “Everything felt good. We will do what we can tonight to prepare for tomorrow. It’s too early to see where we are compared to the others as yet, but we’ll see where we can improve overnight. Tomorrow we will know more.”
You can watch qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN from 2a ET on Saturday.