Red Bull’s first pre-season test of 2014 has come to a premature end after the Milton Keynes squad struck further mechanical issues on the final day in Jerez and has therefore decided to turn its attentions to the next test in Bahrain.
It comes at the end of a difficult week for the current Champions, in which they only completed twenty-one laps due to recurring power unit problems. It is by some margin the least productive test that the team has had endured it entered F1 in 2005. It leaves just eight days of testing in Bahrain, over two sessions next month, to sort the car and develop its performance.
“It’s been a very difficult test,” admitted Team Principal Christian Horner. “We have had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress. However, despite the lack of mileage, what we have managed to learn shows that the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain. Part of the purpose of this early test was to learn about any issues ahead of the start of the season and there will now be a lot of focus on the dyno over the next few weeks.”
The Bahrain test commences on February 19 and thus leaves the team and Renault Sport only a short time to remedy their situation. And while it will be frustrating to see Ferrari and Mercedes powered cars racking up miles across this test, Red Bull were aware that problems may appear at this stage and to catch them early will make for a smoother Grand Prix season.
“We did seven laps and every time Daniel went out we made improvements to the control of the engine,” said Race Engineering Co-ordinatorAndy Damerum.
“We were also making fixes to the issues that have arisen from our side and we have made progress there. However, we then discovered a mechanical issue with the car and after investigation it became clear we would not be able to fix this in time to run in the afternoon, so the decision was taken to retire early, take the data we have amassed and work towards the next test in Bahrain. Two weeks is a long time in Formula One and we and I’m sure Renault will work flat out now to solve the problems we’ve been having.”
* If you would like to hear the thoughts of James Allen on this week’s test and his feelings on pointers for the 2014 season, then you can see him take part in a Google Hangout on the Pole Position channel at 3pm UK time this afternoon. Click here to join in the fun JA F1 Google Hangout 31 January