Red Bull: We’re missing 165 horsepower to the leading Mercedes, about 30km/h on the straights!

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull follows Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull follows Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain

Crisis-struck world champions, Red Bull are hoping to merely survive the fast approaching Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2014 F1 World Championship season.

The reigning world champion team looked to have taken a step forward as the final pre-season test began on Thursday in Bahrain.

At the wheel of the troubled Renault-powered RB10, Daniel Ricciardo had a promising morning – until the latest technical problems left him stranded in the garage for most of the rest of the day.

Afterwards, the Australian was his usual upbeat self, “From the outside, it looks like we are not doing many laps and that the times are not good.”

Daniel Ricciardo with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko

Daniel Ricciardo with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko

“But as a team we are confident that we will be with the frontrunners,” Ricciardo insisted.

“It is difficult to really predict what will happen, but we can say that we will not dominate in Melbourne as we did at the end of last season.”

Red Bull’s always-blunt Marko, however, sounded a less positive note, he told Sport Bild, “We have to somehow survive Melbourne.”

He said Renault’s troubled ‘power unit’ means that Red Bull is often missing 165 horse power to the leading Mercedes, “which is about 30km/h on the straights!

“That’s why we have sent a taskforce to France,” revealed Marko, referring to Renault’s Viry headquarters. “Our people have just helped Renault write a new software programme.”

Screens around the Red Bull Racing garage in Bahrain

Screens around the Red Bull Racing garage in Bahrain

Renault says that it has made real progress, which is timely given the FIA’s looming engine development ‘freeze’ deadline of Friday.

“Yes, some problems we are yet to understand,” the French company’s Remi Taffin acknowledged in a recent interview.

“But over the past six years, approximately 95 per cent of the parts in the V8 engine were refined compared to the first version,” he said.

“We have made a big step forward between the first test and now with the new power unit. Yes we’re a little behind schedule, we still have certain problems, but they are gradually being resolved,” Taffin added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • karlich

    Oh dear :( Hope they collectively sort out their troubles because right now, it looks like we will have a little Formula Renault running amidst Formula 1 :D

  • Tamburello1994

    Heads should roll.

  • karlich

    I agree. They should fire Seb – I mean he obviously isn’t as good as he made out to be now that he can’t eek out 5 seconds of pure skill. Obviously, Marko should follow his apprentice because it was him who put Seb in Red Bull in the fist place. And he’s old. And ugly. Oh, and Newey should be axed as well, I mean c’mon, who still draws cars with pen & paper?!?! Horner? Yeah, sack him too before he quits to take on Bernie’s post.

    *cough*

  • Tamburello1994

    I was thinking at Renault just so you know.

  • karlich

    Ah, my bad. I was doing some creative writing in the same vein of Red Bull’s latest press releases (see Vettel’s ‘massive hissy fir in Jerez’ for a good laugh) ;-)

  • karlich

    Speaking of which, looking at that picture of Carlos Ghosn published elsewhere on GP247, it looks like his head was already about to go up in a fiery flame just like their engines.

  • KevinW

    …. and Mateschitz should sell his Red Bull empire to Pepsico while he is at it. What was he thinking messing with F1 anyway.

  • KevinW

    Perhaps F1 could be cut into pieces. Concede Mercedes the overall championship (congratulations), and let them battle within themselves for the specific MPCC and MPDC (Mercedes Powered Constructors and Drivers Championships). Then the FPCC and FPDC (for Ferrari powered teams), and finally, Renault with the RDCC and RDDC. I used to race road race in mixed classes, where Formula Vee was run along with Formula Ford and F500. It worked for the SCCA, (although resulting in rapidly dwindling participation, including our getting out of it), why not give it a go here? From the looks of things, the Renault series should probably be trimmed to a 10 lap race distance, perhaps starting with the others, then waved off the track after any one Renault powered car completes its tenth lap – which, by all indications, should be around lap 12 for the others two groups. For Renault, they should also receive a trophy with a small French poodle dog being humped by large German Shepherd – the SPA – or Screwed the Pooch Award – for 2014.

  • karlich

    Ooh, could we also have fire extinguisher power ups on track? Call ‘em EZ – extinguisher zone. Only gets activated if a Renault powered car is chasing a Mercedes and burning up along the way :P

  • mopar21222

    Early Honda Roll-out for the start of the European season in May?

  • KevinW

    Bernie was thinking about sprinklers to water the track. Why not spray a section of a cutoff road with foam like they do at airports when a plane is crashing. Renault teams could drive through the foam to put themselves out, then resume racing!

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Ricciardo is now within 0.1 or so of the fastest car so far (Perez). So they are not down on power that much. That’s just a political move by Marko to help Renault get an extension of the engine spec freeze date that’s looming and/or to justify not being competitive this year.
    My guess is they might be down on power, sure, but the key issue is reliability, a problem exacerbated by the RBR’s tight packaging.

  • BS

    Worryingly for a team that had appeared to turn a corner when Daniel Ricciardo managed 66 laps on Friday, their problems appear to be of their own making rather than being caused by Renault; Caterham racked up over 100 laps using the French manufactuer’s power unit while junior team Toro Rosso managed 81 laps with Daniil Kvyat.

    Haha Kevin red bull sucks…get over it.