Daniel Ricciardo says he finished up more or less where he expected after qualifying eighth for his home Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo was fifth fastest in Q2, but was unable to hang onto that position in the shoot-out for pole, winding up behind Toro Rosso duo Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz and Williams' Felipe Massa.
“As sort of predicted,” he replied, when asked how the Red Bull stacks up against the competition post-qualifying. “I knew we would be close within Williams, Toro Rosso and Force India, and that is pretty much where we are.
"We split the Williams, are ahead of the Force Indias and just missed out the Toro Rossos. That extra tenth and a half would have been nice for fifth place but it is as expected for now. We knew Toro Rosso would have good one lap pace and they showed that. Can they sustain that for the race? Hopefully not.”
Ricciardo also added that the team has made progress over the winter, even if the position on the grid doesn't necessarily reflect that.
“We qualified sixth or seventh last year, so the position does not tell it but we certainly are in a better place.
“The chassis – generally I was pretty happy with the handling today. Sure in Q3, if we could have had another run, we maybe would have done something with the front wing or pressures, normal stuff. But generally out of the box the car has been pretty good. I felt that in (pre-season testing in) Barcelona as well.
"So it is the same story for now. We know that we are a bit down on the power for now, but when that comes hopefully that changes a few things for us.”