Red Bull upbeat on new car’s potential

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22:  Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 22, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20160222-00427 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 22, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20160222-00427 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Red Bull Racing are keeping their cards close to their chest after a promising first test of the new RB12 in Barcelona, Spain.

Unveiling their new 2016 challenger on Monday, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat shared responsibilities of breaking in the new car, now powered by their own in-house engine.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22:  Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing exits the garage during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 22, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20160222-00337 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing exits the garage during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 22, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20160222-00337 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Ricciardo managed 87 laps on Monday, and 112 on Tuesday before handing over the duties to his team-mate.

With the Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo’s home race, in less than a month, he’s excited about getting going for real.

Ricciardo said: “For me, it has been a positive two days; you can’t ask for too much more.

“I’m looking forward to next week’s test now – I’ll have just two more days and then it’s Melbourne.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 24:  Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Red Bull Racing drives during day three of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 24, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20160224-00107 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 24: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Red Bull Racing drives during day three of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 24, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20160224-00107 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

“I’m just excited to roll it over now and to get to Australia.

“We did pretty much every run on our schedule and run plans are always pretty optimistic so I think we’ll take that today.

“We put in nearly 200 laps and we ran pretty faultlessly. It was good for me to get a lot more laps.

“We also tried a few compounds, which maybe is not so relevant at this time of year but it was good to try them anyway.”

Kvyat continued testing duties on Wednesday, banging in nearly 100 laps around Barcelona, adding yet more milage to the new engines.

“It was great to get back behind the wheel today and very exciting to finally drive the RB12 after what felt like a long winter break,” said Kvyat. “I think we’ve made a step in the right direction so far. Everything feels like it’s in the right place, the car seems quite well balanced and the first feeling is very positive.”

Team Principal Christian Horner said the RB12 is the result of a lot of hard work in the engine department, but believes they will take a significant step forwards after a disappointing 2015 season.

Horner said: “Obviously the late engine decision last year was a challenge but we found a solution in time and the whole team has worked incredibly hard to recover over the winter.

“Therefore, we’re looking to build on the significant progress we made in the second half of 2015 and to carry that momentum into the early races of this season.

“My hopes for this season are that we genuinely make progress from where we were last year; that we get our heads down and we really develop the car well and hopefully with some performance coming on the power unit side as well, that will allow us to get closer to some of our immediate rivals.”

The next test begins early next week, also at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The first race of the season, in Melbourne, is on Sunday March 20.