The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team left Shanghai with only two more points on the board with Daniel Ricciardo finishing a lowly ninth, while Daniil Kvyat retired from the race in China with smoke pouring from the back of his RB11.
Ricciardo had a nightmare start to the race, when his anti-stall kicked in that saw him drop down to seventeenth, but he fought back to reach the top ten, and inherited ninth when Max Verstappen retired ahead of him with three laps remaining.
“We got into anti-stall on the start, which hasn’t happened before; we have to look and see what happened,” said Ricciardo. “It’s frustrating, that shaped the race and in the traffic we struggled to get by.
“At least some positives are that we learned a few areas where we need to improve and the smart guys in the team can find a solution. I had a little battle with Daniil, I don’t know if I was optimistic in trying to get past, we were on different race strategies but we’ll sort it out in the debrief.
“We underachieved today, but hopefully we find something in the next few days and have a better result in Bahrain.”
Team-mate Kvyat had a much better start, but was unfortunate to be the victim of another Renault power unit failure, with his Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) letting go on lap fifteen while running inside the top eight.
“This weekend has been a bit tricky, and not the happy ending we would have liked,” insisted Kvyat. “I saw a lot of smoke coming from the rear of my car, I am not sure what happened but the team are investigating.
“It’s not an easy situation, but we have to stay strong, I am with the team and we will all work on it together, and we’ll keep our heads high heading into Bahrain.”