Daniel Ricciardo was left to bemoan a Renault engine issue that sidelined him for the entire second practice session at his home Grand Prix at Albert Park.
Fans who had flocked to the Melbourne circuit in their thousands to see their local hero would leave frustrated, with the Australian turning just nine laps of the 5.3-kilometre circuit for the entire day, and all of them coming in the opening practice session.
Ricciardo’s Red Bull Racing mechanics spent the late afternoon’s second free practice session performing an engine change in his RB11 after a problem was detected with his ICE (internal combustion engine) unit in the Renault powertrain.
“In FP1 it took us a while to get going and we didn’t get out straight away, [but] a problem with the ICE meant we couldn’t run in FP2,” he said this evening.
“But it’s a problem that we can fix for tomorrow. There’s a lot of time to do what we need, so there’s no concerns – it wasn’t worth rushing it to get five laps this afternoon.
We don’t believe it will affect one of the four engines, so it’s not a massive shot in the foot. I will look at what Daniil learnt in FP2 to get a direction for tomorrow – the circuit felt pretty rubbered in already in the morning so I should be able to get up to speed tomorrow.
“I’ve got to get these ants out of my pants now – I’m hanging out to drive! It’s been a bit of a tease all week, talking about driving, and now I just want to get out there!” he added.
Teammate Daniil Kvyat managed 45 laps over the two sessions, finishing sixth-fastest in FP2 with a best time of 1:30.016.
“Everything went quite well and according to plan today – everything felt good. We will do what we can tonight to prepare for tomorrow. It’s too early to see where we are compared to the others as yet – but we’ll see where we can improve overnight. Tomorrow we will know more,” he said afterwards.
Images via Red Bull Racing and XPB Images