Daniel Ricciardo says it is unacceptable for Red Bull to qualify behind Toro Rosso as he struggled to 10th on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Coming into Saturday after a Friday hampered by issues with its Renault power unit, Ricciardo appeared to have found a rhythm in FP3 as he finished sixth. That pace seemed to carry over into the first two qualifying sessions but dropped away in Q3, as Ricciardo finished a tenth of a second down on team-mate Daniil Kvyat.
Worse still, Red Bull's sister team and fellow Renault customer Toro Rosso locked out the third row on a hugely impressive afternoon. Ricciardo was unimpressed.
Coming into his post-qualifying session, Ricciardo joked that the media would get to see him in a grumpy mood, and he was unequivocal about being beaten by Toro Rosso.
"Hats off to them of course, but we have to be in front of them," Ricciardo said. "To be more than half a second behind, it's not just the engine where we're struggling."
The Australian explained how his car got away from him in his final Q3 run.
"To be honest, I thought we'd done pretty well today up until Q3. 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. All my gain was lost and right now there's no explanation now."
He also admitted Red Bull did not see as much gained from Red Bull's new front wing and nose, which was brought to Barcelona after finally passing FIA crash tests.
"Right now it's hard to say too much positive in terms of pure lap time - we're two seconds off the pole. There's not progress, I don't know if it's not from that or not, but clearly we're not competitive. We definitely hoped for more. Mayne it's still that it can work better but we just haven't found the way it wants to behave but realistically we aren't going to find a second more with it. We would have liked it."