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Newey: 'Back to the drawing board'

2014-01-31 11:17

UNLUCKY: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel heads out to track for pre-season testing at Jerez, Spain, but the team has only managed to do 13 laps compared to dozens by other teams. Image: AFP

JEREZ, Spain - Amid 2013 champion team Red Bull's testing nightmare at Jerez bigwigs Christian Horner, Adrian Newey, Helmut Marko and the visiting team owner Dietrich Mateschitz all departed southern Spain on Thursday (Jan 30).

While rival Mercedes and Ferrari-powered teams collected dozens of pre-season laps Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, in the troubled RB10, racked up an unlucky 13.


Team newcomer Daniel Ricciardo said."Adrian has gone back to the drawing board."

Red Bull had initially pointed the finger at engine supplier Renault, and the French marque duly admitted it has had problems with all its customer teams, including Toro Rosso and Caterham, but Marko confessed before leaving on Thursday that the latest problems were also of Red Bull's making.  Paddock rumours suggest Newey has pushed his famously tight packaging too close to the limit in a new era in which cooling is vital.

Ricciardo added: "I guess now there's only so much he (Newey) can do at the track and I think he's pretty happy working at his office in England."

Red Bull was expected to try to get the RB10 running on Friday, final day of the Jerez test, but the real attention would be ensuring the car was in working order for the crucial two tests in Bahrain.


Rricciardo again: "I think the break before Bahrain will help the team a lot. Even if Friday doesn't go to plan we still won't be worried. Time is still on our side.  Even if we go to Melbourne with whatever (issues), it's a long season. These guys know how to win and I'm sure we'll sort it out."

Undoubtedly Ricciardo is putting his characteristically-smiling tilt on serious trouble at Red Bull. There are rumours that, before Newey left, he had a "heated" exchange with Renault's Rob White - each accusing the other of being more to blame for the situation. And Red Bull's culpability seemed clearer on Day 3 when sister team Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne said a Renault fix had given the new STR9 a "massive step forward" overnight.

Bernie Ecclestone, nonetheless angry at the Jerez testing 'farce', saw some upside to the situation. He told the Daily Mail: "The good thing is that the season could be extremely interesting -- really unpredictable, and that is the exciting thing."

Williams' Felipe Massa agreed that the 2014 revolution had given F1 a total shake-up. "I'm not talking about performance, I mean how the cars are braking and how they're coming out of the corners. It seems as though there are three categories of cars on one track - Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. Even the sound is different," he explained.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

Read more on:    red bull  |  daniel ricciardo  |  adrian newey  |  spain  |  jerez  |  motorsport  |  f1

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