Saturday, 14 april 2018, 06:44 , by Martin Macdonald
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have both admitted that they are beginning to lose faith in their new Renault power units following a Chinese qualifier which left them significantly off the pace off Ferrari and Mercedes, who claimed positions one to four for their driving duos.
It was indeed miraculous that Ricciardo even managed to get out of the garage as his team had just two hours to repair his engine after a turbo failure. The Australian managed one lap in Q1 which saw him through to the next round and then finally Q3, but both he and Verstappen finished adrift of Ferrari and Mercedes, finishing in fifth and sixth.
This comes after Bahrain last week when Ricciardo and Verstappen both had to retire early, and the former has claimed his "window of optimism" for the Renault engine is decreasing.
"I'd never give up hope, but for sure the window of optimism reduces over time," Ricciardo responded when asked by Motorsport.com whether Red Bull can get over their engine reliability issues.
"I try not to really set any expectations on anything now, just roll with it and hopefully it all works sweet. If it doesn't, it's always going to be difficult to take.
"Unfortunately it's a little bit familiar territory. We've had our ups and downs for the last few years. So this is not new to me.
"But I would say that after winter testing we didn't expect to be here in race three with the issues in Bahrain and this morning already.
"The winter testing looked a lot more positive from a reliability standpoint."
These comments were echoed by his team-mate, Verstappen, who also spoke of his frustration behind the wheel of the new Red Bull car.
"I think it would be a bad thing if it wouldn’t frustrate me, right?” the Dutchman said.
“I’m here to win races and I think everybody who’s working on my car wants exactly the same thing.
“The gap on the straights were a bit bigger than we expected before we came here. But then also from our side just fine-tuning [is needed].
“The power modes were not great. Some of the issues as well I’ve had before, like [getting] close to the limiter, some problems while upshifting and stuff, it just doesn’t really work."