Daniel Ricciardo believes Renault's much anticipated Renault upgrade has not marked an improvement over the existing unit, but says the trial was important for determining whether Red Bull will see out its deal with the manufacturer.
The Australian qualified only ninth for the Brazilian Grand Prix, behind seventh place team-mate Daniil Kvyat using the existing specification power unit, while his top speed – a particular area of focus for Renault – was 0.4kph down on the Russian in the speed traps too.
Set to take a grid penalty for the engine change, Ricciardo says he doesn't feel the upgrade – which Renault predicted would offer a two tenth gain – has any benefit to the erstwhile unit.
“If I'm honest, no,” he responded when asked the engine felt any better. “It's not worth it for the grid penalty. “We've seen it has not really given us anything, so back to the drawing board for Renault, and obviously we've got to try and find some more from it.
It comes as Red Bull reportedly nears a reconciliation with Renault over its engine deal having previously insisted it wouldn't continue into 2016. With this in mind, Ricciardo says he has no regrets sampling it in case this proves to be the case.
“We need to try a different path or something if we are going to continue together next year. It is like we have taken a hit today but long term we will be better off because of what we have learned.
“I don't regret testing it. For us getting some clarity on where it is, it was a realisation in some respects. We had to try, we had to see if there was any sort of positives from it, if what they saw on the dyno was replicated by what we felt on track
“But in hindsight it didn't really give us any lap time, so for now it is a penalty for a little bit of knowledge.”