Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull should be qualifying ahead of Toro Rosso after both himself and Daniil Kvyat were comfortably out-performed by the sister team in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

On what has been a troubled weekend for the Australian after losing track time on Friday as Red Bull changed his engine, Ricciardo started on the back foot, even if he was pleased to make it through to the final stage of qualifying.

However, once there, Ricciardo fluffed his final lap in the last sector, losing him enough time to drop him to tenth place, behind Kvyat and also the two Toro Rosso rookies of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen that start fifth and sixth.

Related Articles

Even so, Ricciardo - who started his media session by saying 'you all get to see me grumpy - says Red Bull wouldn't have been fast enough to beat the sister team regardless.

"To be honest, I thought we'd done pretty well today up until Q3," he said. "I thought practice, Q1 and Q2 we'd adapted as well as we could with the track time we'd had. In Q3 it was looking half decent and then into the third sector, which is definitely my strongest sector out of the three in qualifying, I lost all my grip there, lost the rear into 10 and then it's a snowball effect for the whole last sector.

"Compared to my Q2 in lap, that I aborted, I was half a second down. So we lost time, but I don't know why, I don't know if the wind changed or what but it was frustrating. Even if we did put the lap together somehow we're still behind Toro Rosso.

Indeed, though Ricciardo says Renault has turned down his engine this weekend to preserve reliability, he suggests it is more than just the power unit behind the deficit to Toro Rosso.

"Hats off to Toro Rosso of course, but we have to be in front of them. To be more than half a second behind... it's not just the engine where we're struggling."