Although on Wednesday in Bahrain, with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, Red Bull appeared to be getting to grips with the problems affecting their all new RB10, but a day later the team was forced to curtail Daniel Ricciardo’s stint in the car as technical gremlins struck the World Champions once again.
At 16:35 local time, before the end of proceedings on day three of Formula 1 testing in Bahrain, the team announced in a press release: “Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s third day of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit got off to a positive start this morning as Daniel Ricciardo took over at the wheel of the RB10. However, midway through today’s running the team discovered a mechanical problem and in anticipation of tomorrow’s final day, the decision was taken to suspend running this afternoon.”
Although the RB10 only managed 28 laps, the team’s newcomer Ricciardo remained upbeat, “It was going OK. I did some good laps and those came off the back of the more than 50 laps Seb did yesterday, so we’re getting there. Obviously, I would have liked to do more this afternoon but we still have tomorrow ahead of us and it’s important to be ready for that. The car is definitely making progress though.”
“It’s coming together bit by bit. We’d love a big chunk all at once but obviously that’s not the way these things work, so we have to be a bit patient for now. However, it is coming and we’re heading in the right direction. Tomorrow it would be nice to get more laps in and then roll on next week,” added the Australian, who starts his first full season with the team, in Melbourne on 16 March.
Red Bull’s race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum summed up the situation “After yesterday’s good work we had another positive period overnight with the car build, which we’re getting quite good at, and it looked good this morning. We were focused on short runs for Daniel, as the car feels very different to the one we had in Jerez and we wanted to build things up gradually for him.”
Explaining the problem on the day, Damerum revealed, “We made more changes over lunch and in doing so we came across a mechanical issue that we hadn’t encountered before and because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart. As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day.”
“These issues are of course frustrating but this was unrelated to the others so it’s just a case of tackling each issue as it appears. A tough night in prospect but we hope to get a good day in tomorrow,” added Damerum.
Adrian Newey’s RB10, arguably the prettiest of the 2014 contenders, is suffering due to the aggressive aero packaging not being able to cope with the heat emitted by Renaul’s problematic V6 turbo Power Unit. A vast revision to the car, made since Jerez, has not delievered the desired effect.
The World Champions look likely to start their title defence, at the Australian GP on 16 March, on the back foot and with a lot of catching up to do because at this stage they are not even best of the beleaguererd Renault powered outfits. (GP247)
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