Daniel Ricciardo said he barely noticed the new Halo device as he got his hands on Red Bull Racing’s new RB14 on Monday.
Revealed to the world in a special ‘digital disruption’ livery, which will differ from their race scheme, the Australian gave the new car it’s first tentative laps at a rain-soaked Silverstone as the team filmed.
The Halo device - a new head protection frame surrounding the cockpit from this season - has drawn criticism for it’s aesthetics, but Ricciardo said he barely noticed it was on the car after he got behind the wheel.
“So far I can see fine with the Halo,” he said. “I’d only done a couple of installs with it before so it was pretty new today but I really didn’t notice it was there, which is pretty good.
“Honestly, unless there’s stuff above, I don’t see any issues at all on a flat track.”
Speaking about the car, he added: “It’s always exciting to drive the car for the first time. It sounds a bit different, obviously looks a bit different – actually it looks cool.
“It’s cold, it’s pretty miserable today at Silverstone but it’s nice to be out there. First cobwebs shaken out and I’m ready to go to Melbourne.
“It’s hard to tell from a couple of laps but the initial feeling in the car is good. I can already feel that the rear feels pretty settled, even in these poor conditions. Those are encouraging early signs.”
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was pleased to see the RB14 turn a wheel for the first time, saying: “It was good to have got the first few laps of 2018 under our belts and now we look forward to the first test in Barcelona next week.”
Max Verstappen will return to the cockpit as part of the first test in Spain, which begins on Monday.