Red Bull’s engine concerns were added to on Sunday as Daniel Ricciardo’s race ended in a plume of smoke in Bahrain.
The Australian was barely 100 yards from the finish when his Renault engine blew within sight of the chequered flag. Fortunately for him and the team, he was able to cross the line in sixth place.
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat recovered from 17th on the grid to finish ninth to pick up two points.
It was an uneventful afternoon for Ricciardo. Unable to keep pace with the Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams ahead, Ricciardo had a lonely race to sixth, with the only fireworks coming at the end.
But with yet another engine issue, and relations between Red Bull and Renault already beginning to show signs of stress, it wasn’t the ideal end to the race.
“I think the race went as well as it could and I drove well to finish sixth,” he said afterwards. “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.
“Just out of the last corner it just went up in smoke. We’ll have to see how severe it is, of course. It didn’t look good but at least we got over the line and consolidated a pretty lonely sixth today but I felt it was all we could do.”
Kvyat’s qualifying struggles weren’t a fair reflection of the RB11’s pace, and he was able to dispatch of the middle order, making his way through the field into the points scoring positions.
He said: “I enjoyed the race today, it put a smile on my face. We had a good recovery to finish in the points.
“We gathered a lot of data to analyse 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.”
The double points finish means Red Bull stay fourth in the constructors’ championship standings with 23 points. Ricciardo sits seventh in the driver’s standings with 19 points, while Kvyat is 15th with four.
Overall though, team boss Christian Horner was pleased with the result
“I think both drivers got the absolute maximum out of the cars today,” he said. “Daniel drove a very clean race; his engine seemed to join the firework party in the end, but he finished a strong sixth.
“I think that engine will be a coffee table in the future.
“Daniil made a good recovery from his P17 start to finish in ninth. It’s good to have both cars finish in the points today.”