Ricciardo says Red Bull Racing cannot challenge Mercedes early on

Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo has said that his team remains a long way off from challenging pace setters Mercedes this season, at least for the early parts of the new Formula One season amid suggestions that there are problems with the drivability of the new Renault engines of the car.

The Australian was the only one who managed to challenge the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton as they ran away with the Formula One Constructors' Championship last season but he feels a repeat is bleak and he doesn't feel that the car will be ready for the time being as well.

He has also suggested that it is better not to expect too much from the team as Mercedes have a clear two seconds on them and it is difficult to make up such a difference in a sport such as Formula One where the margin for error is very less.

He spoke to the media ahead of the inaugural race of the new season of Formula One in Australia and he has said that there should not be any expectations about pole positions or race wins, at least for the initial few races. The youngster also said that considering how bad things were for the team, he was pleased to have done reasonably well in qualifying.

Ricciardo has mentioned that although he cannot say anything about numbers in terms of the pure horsepower output that this season's car is capable of, he has admitted that there are some problems. There were already suggestions that the team was not happy with the efforts of Renault during the winter and Ricciardo's comments compound that.

He said that there are some issues with the drivability of the car and the sooner they can sort it out, the better.