Formula 1

Red Bull dump alternator supplier after reliability issues

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It has emerged that current world champions Red Bull changed their alternator supplier after suffering multiple failures that hindered their 2012 campaign.

The Austrian team had been using Italian makers Magnetti Marelli, as the company is linked with the team's engine supplier Renault, however for the 2013 season it is now believed Tag are supplying alternators for the Milton Keynes based team.

Last year, alternators were responsible for several retirements, notably Sebastian Vettel retired from the lead in Valencia, handing an emotional home win for his eventual closest rival Fernando Alonso, as well as Mark Webber who was forced out of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz spoke of his concerns about the failing alternators saying to reporters last September: "I want Renault to separate from its supplier Magneti Marelli and use someone else."

While Red Bull have changed supplier for this season it is believed another Renault powered team, Lotus, are still using the Magnetti Marelli alternators and are yet to have any problems this year.

One of the reasons for the alternator problems seemed to be the tight packaging of the side-pods. The Red Bull's have a smaller, more compact side-pod package in order to gain maximum advantage from their 'coanda' exhaust design. That does put pressure on the parts inside in terms of cooling and that seemed to be the flaw with the 2012 alternators.

Under pressure from Red Bull to improve the reliability of their alternators, Magnetti Marelli did bring an updated version towards the end of last season with no issues, so it seems the change was more of a confidence and trust issue rather than an issue with the part.


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Formula 1

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