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Why Red Bull terminated testing in Spain

2014-02-01 11:52

SHORT TEST: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the pits at Jerez during early 2014 testing. A fix wasn't possible so he went home. Image: AFP

ALAN BALDWIN

JEREZ, Spain - 2013 Formula 1 champion Red Bull on January 31 called an early end to a nightmare first pre-season test in Spain to focus on fixing the problems before the next track outing in Bahrain two weeks later.

The sport's dominant team said continuing mechanical issues with the RB10 car, unveiled only on January 28 had forced the team to pack up and go home.

"It's been a very difficult test," said team principal Christian Horner. "We've had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues but despite the lack of laps what we've learned has shown the problems should be solvable before Bahrain."

The 2014 season will start with the Australian F1 GP on March 16.

FOUR YEARS AS TOP TEAM

Quadruple F1 champion Sebastian Vettel went home on Wednesday after only 11 laps over two days; Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo managed only three laps. Other Renault-powered teams also had problems; those using Mercedes and Ferrari units put in way more laps.

Red Bull has been top team for the past four seasons and driver Vettel wrapped up his fourth successive drivers' title in 2013 with three races to spare. He won 13 races in 2013, including the last nine, but a 10th-in-a-row in Melbourne is looking far less likely.

Ricciardo did seven laps on Friday with the team fixing problems as they emerged. The team's race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: "Every time Daniel went out we made improvements to the control of the engine. We were also making fixes to issues that arose from our side... we've made progress there.

"We then discovered a mechanical issue and it became clear we would not be able to fix it in time to run in the afternoon. We decided to retire early. Two weeks is a long time in F1 and we, and I'm sure Renault, will work flat out to solve the problems."

BEST LAP TIMES FROM PREVIOUS (2013) YEAR'S TESTING (laps)

1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari-Ferrari) 1min17.879 (227)
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus-Renault) 1min18.148 (122)
3 Jules Bianchi (Force India-Mercedes) 1min18.175 (56)
4 Romain Grosjean (Lotus-Renault) 1min18.218 (149)
5 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) 1min18.565 (198)
6 Esteban Gutierrez( Sauber-Ferrari) 1min18.669 (252)
7 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1min18.760 (177)
8 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes-Mercedes) 1min18.766 (159)
9 Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) 1min18.861 (120)
10 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Mercedes) 1min18.905 (160)
11 Sergio Perez (McLaren-Mercedes) 1min18.944 (178)
12 Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes) 1min19.003 (240)
13 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1min19.134 (129)
14 James Rossiter (Force India-Mercedes) 1min19.303 (61)
15 Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault 1min19.338 1(74)
16 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber-Ferrari) 1min19.502 (178)
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault)  1min19.851 (177)
18 Pedro de la Rosa (Ferrari-Ferrari) 1min20.316 (50)
19 Pastor Maldonado (Williams-Renault)  1min20.693 (129   
20 Charles Pic (Caterham-Renault) 1min21.105 (166)
21 Giedo van der Garde (Caterham-Renault) 1min21.219 (152)
22 Luiz Razia (Marussia-Cosworth) 1min21.226 (112)
23 Max Chilton (Marussia-Cosworth) 1min21.269 (107)
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