Daniel Ricciardo finished today’s Bahrain Grand Prix in a blaze of glory as he suffered an engine failure at the final corner of the final lap of the race.
The Australian driver had endured a rather lonely and uneventful race up until that point, circulating in sixth place with a 20 second buffer both in front and behind.
However, he very nearly didn’t make it to the line after his Renault power unit gave way as he applied power on the exit of the final corner, with smoke billowing out of the rear of his Red Bull RB11 car.
Ricciardo had just enough speed and momentum to cross over the line, though, securing himself eight points for sixth place. He did however have to park his car up just after making it to the checkered flag as a result of the issue.
“I think the race went as well as it could and I drove well to finish sixth,” Ricciardo said. “The chassis is working better and through the corners we are more or less there.
“We’ll move onto Europe and see if we can get further up the grid and keep improving.
“The weekend went pretty smooth for me until the end of the race, I don’t know what happened, but the team will have a look at it.”
Renault had warned Red Bull that its engines were not wholly reliable in Bahrain following issues at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix that had sidelined Daniil Kvyat.
Although both of the Renault-powered Toro Rosso drivers failed to finish in Bahrain on Sunday, Kvyat capped off a good weekend for Red Bull by fighting from 17th on the grid to ninth place at the flag.
“I enjoyed the race today, it put a smile on my face,” Kvyat said. “We had a good recovery to finish in the points.
“We gathered a lot of data to analyze and see what improvements can be made so we can move forward. As a team we want to improve and we’re all working hard to get there – I can feel good vibes are coming.”
Red Bull will be hoping to fight its way further up the order at the start of the European season in Spain on May 10.