|© Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Red Bull endured a frustrating outing at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday with a performance a far cry from its promising start last year.
Even though the 2014 pre-season tests proved overtly troublesome for the then-defending champions, Daniel Ricciardo put the car on the front row in Melbourne and went on to finish second before getting disqualified for fuel irregularity.
Despite a no-score, Red Bull was boosted by its potential.
This year, even though it scored eight points in the first race after a much better winter there wasn't much for Red Bull to take away as its underpowered Renault power unit failed to deliver competitively.
Daniil Kvyat, making his debut for Red Bull this year, failed to make it to the starting grid due to a gearbox issue, worsening his weekend that saw him getting knocked out in Q2 on Saturday and qualifying behind sister team Toro Rosso's rookie drivers.
"Obviously it's not a nice feeling to watch the other drivers on track while you are here," said the Russian.
Ricciardo managed to gain a place from the grid to finish sixth, but struggled initially to pass the Sauber of Felipe Nasr, highlighting the former champions' troubles.
"It wasn't the most exciting race," said the Australian who was racing in front of his home fans. "I think on paper sixth was the best for us today.
"In terms of where we need to improve, the main issue is the drivability and the power, there are pretty big chunks that we know we need to find there," he pointed out. "Beyond that it's hard, as with the chassis itself I don't think we've really been able to test it to its limits yet due to the other issues we’ve had."
Red Bull has made it no secret, repeatedly laying the blame firmly on Renault's door for the team's issues since last year.
"Daniel did everything he could with the tools that he had," said team principal Christian Horner. "It unfortunately demonstrates that there's a quite a lot of ground to make up."