World Champion Sebastian Vettel finally managed some laps but at a sluggish pace on Thursday as Red Bull’s pre-season crisis continues.
His tally of 59 laps in the troubled Renault-powered RB10 ended fears that Adrian Newey’s latest creation might never run at all, but he was more than five seconds off the pace set by Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.
“We still have lots of problems – large and small – that we need to fix,” Vettel is quoted by the German newspaper Die Welt.
Red Bull’s Helmut Marko admitted that the task now achieved was simply to get the RB10 to work, and that on Thursday the car “was just rolling around”.
Vettel is quoted by Bild newspaper: “The laptimes are not the best, but the first thing was to get the car running.”
The reigning quadruple World Champion, who won the last 9 races of 2013 on the trot, is now returning to Europe, leaving teammate Daniel Ricciardo now to complete the first week of running in Bahrain.
Ahead of his turn in the RB10, Australian Ricciardo was his usual positive self in the midst of what many are calling the Red Bull crisis.
“We are not halfway through testing yet, there’s still seven days, which is a lot,” he told Australian media Fairfax.
“Then we have got Melbourne and even if – and this is just me talking – even if the first six races don’t go to plan, there’s still 13 or 14 left,” he insisted. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.