Reliability, not pace, the key for Red Bull in Barcelona

Daniel Ricciardo PNL-150805-112644002
Daniel Ricciardo PNL-150805-112644002

Red Bull Racing admit performance isn’t at the forefront of their minds as F1 returned to Europe on Friday.

Daniel Ricciardo and team-mate Daniil Kvyat completed just 16 laps between them during the first free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix as they sought to protect their unreliable Renault engines.

Limited to just four power units per season, Ricciardo is already onto his fourth in just four races after his Renault expired in smokey fashion 100 yards before the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks ago.

With Red Bull’s fingers firmly pointed in the direction of the French engine manufacturer, Ricciardo admitted working on reliability is key for the team this weekend, with performance playing second fiddle.

“I think for now [on] the performance side it’s probably not going full steam ahead because of the reliability issues,” he said. “I think the main stuff we’re trying to resolve this weekend is reliability. Obviously with the fourth engine we want to try and get this as far as it can go.

“Let’s say that extra half a tenth of performance, I think we’re just going to put it aside until we’re 100 per cent sure with what’s happening with reliability.”

In the first session in Barcelona, Ricciardo completed nine laps with a fastest time of 1:29.075, good enough for ninth place.

Kvyat meanwhile only completed seven laps, but was quicker than Ricciardo with a time of 1:28.785.