Red Bull’s struggles continue in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel tests in Bahrain
Sebastian Vettel tests in Bahrain

Red Bull Racing hoped they’ve overcome the teething problems before the first day of the second test in Bahrain, but they were to be proved wrong on Wednesday.

It took nearly four and a half hours before Sebastian Vettel’s RB10 was fired up in the garage, rolling out onto the circuit for the first time in the second pre-season test on Wednesday, giving the car some valuable track time.

With sweeping rule chances, which includes the biggest engine shake-up since the sport’s inception, Red Bull struggled at the opening four-day testing session in Jerez, Spain, a little over two weeks ago.

There, the RB10 suffered a handful of reliability issues and managed to complete just 21 laps across the four days, while their competitors in the next door garages mounted up the milage.

But unfortunately for the Tilbrook-based team, they continued where they left off in Spain.

The delay at the start of the day paled into insignificance as world champion Sebastian Vettel barely completed more than a handful of laps before it came spluttering to a halt out on track.

Vettel ended the first day with the fifth fastest time, completing 14 laps.

Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India led the way, followed by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.

“It’s not easy to find a quick fix, but I think we understand the problems,” Vettel said. “It’s not that easy to find the solution for the problems we’ve found.

“I think we have fixed the problems from Jerez, where we had a problem with temperature which we seemed to fix with the couple of laps we could do today.

“But very often you seem to fix one problem and then another problem pops up.

“I think there is stuff to do on Red Bull Racing’s side in terms of reliability - temperatures in general around the car - and there is stuff on Renault’s side.

“But it’s not fair to separate those two, we are a team and we have been very successful over the last years together.

“It’s not the start we were hoping for, but we’ve still got some time and clever people on board that can hopefully fix the problems.

“Obviously we’re not happy with where we are right now, but there is a long way ahead of us.

“It’s fairly difficult to judge where we are, I haven’t had much of the car yet.

“The first lap feel is okay, but surely we need more running to judge the car, judge reliability and general performance.

“I don’t know how the other cars are doing, it sounds like they are running more.

I don’t know if they are having less trouble than us, but there are a lot of things to do.”

Vettel will continue to test on Thursday, before Daniel Ricciardo takes over on Friday and Saturday.