Despite a problem packed first test at Jerez, Red Bull’s four time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel is confident that Renault and his team have resolved the issues that have put him on the back foot with regards to his title defence
Vettel told Sport Bild, “Other teams have driven more miles which is important because everything is so new, but for us it is better to rather have these problems now than later during the races. I hope things go better in Bahrain and that we can run the car at speed and do more laps.”
Red Bull were plagued by overheating issues brought about by the tight aero packaging characteristics of the Adrian Newey penned RB10, which is reported to have been heavily revised ahead of the Bahrain test, with references to an ‘RB10B’ making headlines.
Adding to the World Champion’s woes were the technical defects on the Renault V6 turbo powertrain, which afflicted all the Renault powered teams.
Vettel explained, “We must not underestimate the huge challenge of the new Power Units. Everything is still completely new. I believe that both Renault and we have solved the problems experienced at Jerez. But there is no guarantee that there will be no other problems.”
Early signs are that Mercedes have done their homework and have a handy ‘new era’ engine bolted in to the Silver Arrows and their customer teams, a fact that does not escape the reigning World Champion.
“All the Mercedes-powered cars looked very strong in Jerez. But that did not surprise me, because it was already known in advance how much time and work Mercedes has invested in their new powertrain.”
Renault’s engineering chief Remi Taffin said, “The problems are worse from the outside than they are from the inside. It’s a difficult moment but we will get through this.”
“We are at least where we would have sought to be for the first test, so maybe now we are three weeks behind, and now we are on a recovery plan,” added Taffin.
Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain gets underway on 19 February. (GP247)
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