Daniel Ricciardo says he has reason to be pleased following the first day of pre-season testing ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship as he quickly found a comfortable base in Red Bull Racing's new RB12.
Having unveiled the livery last week, the RB12 itself got its first public airing when it rolled out at the Circuit de Catalunya with Ricciardo at the wheel, the Australian quickly finding his groove amidst minor niggles.
Indeed, describing the day as a chance to get acquainted with the RB12 and its rebranded TAG Heuer engine, Ricciardo says there is already a familiar feeling to the RB11 that he was driving at the end of 2015.
“It feels familiar, it doesn't feel strange,” he said. “I think it's already positive, when a new season starts and you hop in a car you want it to feel … last year I think we ended the year quite well, the car was good, so it feels similar and looks good.
“It's the first day so we don't have everything on the car but first impressions are positive. It's early but that's all you can ask for on day one.”
Completing 86 laps and setting the third fastest time with a 1min 26.044secs, Ricciardo branded the first day back in action a successful one.
“We're still not on race trim in terms of power and we don't have all the bolt-on bits on it at the moment. For now it's as expected -- the team did say expect something similar to last year for the first test at least and it's pretty much that for now. I would say it's a decent start.”