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Red Bull - ready or not?

2014-03-11 09:30

RED BULL READY, OR NOT? A Red Bull car being pushed into the garage after 2014 pre-season testing in Bahrain. Image: AFP

JENS MARX

MELBOURNE, Australia - As Red Bull gears up for its 10th season in Formula 1 the team can reflect on lots of success but could face a difficult season in 2014.

The team's first race was the 2005 Australian GP and immediately it claimed points through David Coulthard's fourth place.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz had bought the then Jaguar team in 2004 and installed Christian Horner as team principal. Fast forward 10 seasons to 2014 and Horner remains team principal while designer Adrian Newey is celebrating his ninth year with the team.

RACE FOR RACE

By 2009 Red Bull was competitive and the addition of German driver Sebastian Vettel helped tip the team into stardom. Vettel won the 2013 Drivers' championship as well as the preceding three years; the team matched him race for race.

For 2014 the team must overcome its depressingly poor pre-season tests. There are also rule changes, some of the most important affecting power units; Red Bull's supplier Renault has not been able to provide a competitive hybrid turbo power unit but that is not the only issue.

The RB10 car seems unable to cool properly and stopped several times during testing with smoke billowing from its rear. Mateschitz was philosophical about the rule changes which could hamper his team but did admit, that as an F1 fan an end to Red Bull's dominance could be exciting.

NOT ENOUGH PRACTICE

Masteschitz said: "It is how it is. The new rules are the same for everyone."
 
Red Bull failing to drive the test kilometres managed by the competition is also problematic as it now lacks recorded data with which to make changes through the early part of the racing season

Vettel said: "The cars we'll use in Melbourne will be the same as those we tested in winter."

Mateschitz was bullish about Red Bull's chances for the 2014 season. He said: "The situation is not so bad," Vettel, like the rest of the team, "will accept the challenge".
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