Vettel flies home early as problems continue to plague Red Bull’s new car

Sebastian vettel in the cockpit of the Red Bull RB10

Sebastian Vettel in the cockpit of the Red Bull RB10

Sebastian Vettel cancelled his media engagements, packed up and flew home early after problems continued to plague the World Champion team’s brand new Red Bull RB10 during the first two days of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Jerez.

After only completing three timed laps on the opening day, and just eight on the second day, Vettel’s title defence has started in the worst way possible.

Although it is not clear what has been afflicting the Adrian Newey penned RB10, it has emerged that on the first day an assembly mistake curtailed their running severely, while on day two the problem appears related to an electrical issue which was described as a “Renault energy store problem.”

Sebastian Vettel drives the Red Bull RB10 on day two at Jerez

Sebastian Vettel drives the Red Bull RB10 on day two at Jerez

Red Bull crew were photographed peering at a steaming back end of the RB10, in their pit garage, after the engine reportedly caught fire, whereupon the team decided to call time on Vettel’s stint in the cockpit.

Renault is having a troubled start to its season, lagging way behind their rivals – Mercedes and Ferrari - in terms of mileage covered thus far with the teams they service. By 14:00 Jerez time, on day two, Mercedes powered cars had completed 123 laps, the Ferrari brigade 56 laps and Renault’s teams a mere 13 laps in total.

Renault’s engine operations boss Rob White admitted after the first day in Spain, “I honestly expected there to be more laps on the board right now, but without real up close knowledge of what has been going on in the garage I don’t know what has been happening.”

Sebastian Vettel spent most of day one hanging around the Red Bull pit garage

Sebastian Vettel spent most of day one hanging around the Red Bull pit garage

“It is kind of a no brainer, but the pace has to ramp up substantially over the coming days and week,” added White.

Red Bull’s design guru Adrian Newey mused after the first problem packed day, “Road cars, hybrid road cars, aeroplanes, by the time we see them in public they’ve had a huge amount of running and private testing – obviously in Formula 1 we don’t have that luxury and we have to come out and get these complicated machines to work in the public arena.”

Vettel will probably only get to drive the RB10 again in a month’s time when the teams gather in Bahrain for the second preseason testing sessions.

He said before leaving for the airport, “Obviously we’ve not had a lot of running and have a few problems to sort out, but with such big rule changes it is usual to have some teething problems. That’s what tests are for, to sort those issues out. The next two days will be important to get some track time to prepare for the tests in Bahrain.”

Thus reigning World Champion Vettel departs southern Spain with the knowledge that last year he racked up 198 laps around Jerez, compared to a mere 11 laps this time around… (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • LIO

    Well, well, well.
    The tide has already tired – it appears !

  • Anna

    It means nothing. They will get the car running fine for the start in Melbourne. They always do.

  • Hugo

    Little brat didn’t even honor his media engagements. I can’t wait until he hits the wall (figuratively). Too bad his teammate will play second fiddle.

  • Taskmaster

    Looks likely the 2014 championship comes down to a war between engine package makers on reliability and fuel economy… so much for the drivers being the headline. It’s going to be interesting to see how all this plays out. 2 test days do not a season make, by a long shot.

  • Jadi959

    It is becoming obvious that unless you are in a Mercedes, you aren’t winning the WDC.

  • Mercedes Supporter Forever

    Well, well, well… Looks like this could mark the end of Red Bull’s dominance and the beginning of Mercedes and Ferrari’s revenge for the top spot..

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Looks like it might be down between Ferrari and Mercedes this year

  • Matthew

    I’m surprised to see renault so far behind the game. Red bull might not embarrass ferrari and mercedes again after all! That and it seems like mclaren may be getting their engineering sorted out. This may be an exciting season!

  • Taskmaster

    Does anyone really believe that 2 days of testing of all-new spec cars is any indicator of the year’s likely result?

    That said, if a rules change alone is indeed the main force that ends one team’s success and hands another the championship – great would not be how I’d describe the season at all.

  • Famer

    Renault is losing important data by not pumping in the miles. All these teething problems will have a negative effect. Mercedes in the form of Mclaren are having a good run. The works team as well and don’t forget about Ferrari.

  • Steve

    Since the rules were changed specifically to hobble Red Bull, it’s no big surprise that Red Bull look hobbled in the early going. But RB were hobbled at the start of 2012 and 2013 and look how those seasons turned out.

  • Maxxus

    @Steve
    “Since the rules were changed specifically to hobble Red Bull, it’s no big surprise that Red Bull look hobbled in the early going. But RB were hobbled at the start of 2012 and 2013 and look how those seasons turned out.”

    Those years RBR were evolutionary. Everyone’s on a level playing field now. Even Newey and the other sniffler Horner are already hinting for a rules change. This is F1, once in a while rules change to benefit development as well as persist with a new formula to prevent dominance by a team or sets of teams. It’s been done many, many times before. If Red Bull is what they pretend to be…they will adapt and overcome and continue winning within the current rules without any mid-season changes to their advantage.

  • Steve

    “This is F1″

    Yeah, this is F1, where the rules are changed in order to stop the team which is winning from winning again.

    “Everyone’s on a level playing field now.”

    Nonsense. the changes which were made were made SPECIFICALLY to restrict those areas where RB were better than the rest.

    “If Red Bull is what they pretend to be…they will adapt and overcome..”

    What’s this “pretend” BS? The rules were changed ahead of the 2012 and 2013 seasons to hobble Red Bull, and they adapted and overcame both times.

  • Hugo

    As if the sport would change its engines and nose-height rules just to curb Vettel and Newey.

    If they wanted to put him in his place, they would just have to sanction his unsportsmanlike behavior towards Webber in Malaysia.

  • farizY

    @Hugo

    Enough with the Malaysia BS…we heard that too many times already, it isn’t like other teams are angels, give it a rest.

    I guess Steve is right, we would always see a drastic rule change when one team is dominating, like Ferrari for instance, a drastic rule change ended their reign, this year’s rule change might cause problems to reigning champion as well. We might get a new champ, nothing bad with that, but no need to discredit Vettel and what he had achieved.

  • RBC

    Vettel into the radio “Make them have as many technical problems as me. It’s not fair!!!!”

  • Ange

    @Hugo

    “If they wanted to put him in his place, they would just have to sanction his unsportsmanlike behavior towards Webber in Malaysia.”

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! What happened was a team issue, not a FIA issue. Had Vettel crashed into Webber, on purpose, to prevent him from winning, yes, then it would be an issue for FIA!
    It baffles me as to why FIA would be allowed any authority to “meddle” with the private matters of each team! It’s just plain stupid!

  • LIO

    Sebastian ,
    I wanna see how “great” you are diving a normal F1 machine.
    Now the playing fields is all the same, let’s see what you got dude

  • bobw

    It’s an honer to post my opinions along side the trailer-trash, bigoted morons and haters here. Someone previously posted that you shouldn’t predict an entire season based on 4 days of testing. As for the anti-Vettel bullshit, it is pure ignorance.

    Red Bull’s issue is with the power unit batteries overheating. Renault suggests it because of insufficient cooling. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case since the FIA has dictated where the units can be located on the car…remember those people aren’t exactly brilliant engineers.

    At any rate, it should be an interesting year.

  • Steve

    “As if the sport would change its engines and nose-height rules just to curb Vettel and Newey.”

    Infantile brat.

  • Steve

    “I wanna see how “great” you are diving a normal F1 machine.”

    Another “F1 fan” who seems to know jack about the sport. Vettel looked plenty great in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012 while driving “normal” (or sub-normal) F1 machines. What were you doing at the time? Clearly not paying much attention to F1.

  • Jules

    Vettel always had a good car. Let’s see if he can win races again when he doesn’t have the fastest car. My bet is that Vettel will be making more mistakes when he is not starting from the front 2 rows. He’s too impatient and seriously lacks real racing experience which the first half of this season will be. Real racing I mean having to beat other drivers in a comparable car. Kimi, Alo, Lewis and even Hulkenberg would be giving Vettel a hard time.

    This brat will start throwing his toys out of the pram now and Horner will be trying to change the rules to benefit themselves again . Just like how they got Pirelli to revert back to the old spec tires to suit their car when they could not build a car to suit the 2013 rules….cheats!.

  • AlsoRan

    Vettel’s just become a father.
    If my car wasn’t working well, I too would be
    back with my wife and new child.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Is still waiting for the great Alonso to win a championship in, What is it today? Oh yea, A NORMAL F1 MACHINE to prove his supreme awesomeness.

  • Boycottthebull

    @Bobw “It’s an honer to post my opinions along side the trailer-trash, bigoted morons and haters here. Someone previously posted that you shouldn’t predict an entire season based on 4 days of testing. As for the anti-Vettel bullshit, it is pure ignorance.”

    Coming from the biggest hypocrite on the F1 Forums. You have done nothing but spew bigoted anti-Australian bile and Webber hate at every opportunity. I think you should practice what you peach before calling others morons. Its no surprise that you cant spell honour even in the American version let alone know the meaning of the word.

    This conspiracy though that these rules were put in place to somehow knobble Vettel is paranoia fantasy land. These rules were tabled back in 2010 long before Vettels known dominance. They had opportunities to do it mid season. All they had to do was ensure Vettel was getting the same penalties as the others when he drove outside the lines instead of turning a blind eye.

  • RBC

    @Steve,

    Vettel had a BMW that challenged for the WDC with Kubica. He then had a Torro Rosso that was a replica of the Red Bull, with a Ferrari Engine. That was an awesome car. Then he had the Red Bull illegal ride height flex front wing car for 4 years. Hardly normal cars. And only when he had the super cheat Red Bull car did he win. Before that he was just doing ok, like many other drivers.

  • Matthew

    Man! You europeans really hate a winner! What pathetic attitudes. You seem like you’ve been taught to be losers and hate anyone that achieves anything great. Unbelievable… Also, if RB had the flexible wing, do you really think mercedes, mclaren , or ferrari would say nothing? If no one was paying attention, mclarens wing shook more then anyones, both in 13 AND 12!

    Go ahead and look. Oh wait… no one will… because mclaren has become one of the losers. (temporarily I hope) My biggest reason for being pro RB is because EVERYONE made fun of them and said they were nothing. Now that they won 4 in a row, absolutely smashing them on the 4th try, people are all up in arms.