A suspected turbo failure on Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull has left the team rushing to complete an engine change before qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Australian pulled to the side of the Shanghai International Circuit during Practice 3 with smoke and flames pouring from the rear of his car.
Upon arrival back in the garage, mechanics scrambled to begin diagnosing the problem with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reporting that the failure appears to be turbo-related.
“I think we’ve got a suspected turbo failure,” a frustrated Horner told Sky Sports.
“That’s what the analysis is at the moment, whether there’s damage to the combustion engine as well only time will tell.
“(It) Certainly looks turbo orientated at the moment.”
Horner is confident however the squad can get the required work done before qualifying.
“The amount of time we’ve changed these engines we’ve had plenty of practice. The guys are pretty well adversed to it,” he added.
“It’s the second race in a row (we’ve had a failure), we had electrics in the last race and we’ve got this issue before we’ve even got into qualifying here and we’re on race three.
“Disappointed is probably an understatement.”
An optimistic Ricciardo echoed Horner’s comments in what is his second failure in just as many weeks after the 28-year old was forced to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix with an electrical gremlin last weekend.
“The boys have to take it all apart and at this stage probably just put a new engine in,” Ricciardo vented in an interview with Sky Sports.
“So, hopefully they can do that in the couple hours we have and I can get out in qualifying.
“I’m obviously optimistic I can get out in a couple hours, but if not then, I’ll just try and roll with it for now and see what we can do.
“It’s pretty tough at the moment, but it’s alright.”
Ferrari dominated the times in Practice 3, with Sebastian Vettel fastest ahead of team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas third.
Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix gets underway at 16:00 AEST.