After what is safe to describe as a disastrous opening pre-season test last week in Jerez for Red Bull, their rivals are not counting them out yet.
The signs however, were not good for the new RB10 or ‘Are Bea-Ten’ as some called Adrian Newey’s latest creation.
It completed the least distance and set the slowest time of the week in Spain, even Marussia, who only started on day three, did more laps and went faster than the current quadruple champions.
Despite these issues Fernando Alonso, who was once linked with Red Bull last year, is not smiling yet.
“There are always some problems that are public or less obvious, sometimes more, sometimes less,” he told Spanish reporters at Jerez.
“Only in Australia are there the first points; this is the first test,” Alonso insisted.
His former team-mate wasn’t so encouraging however as Felipe Massa claimed if he was Sebastian Vettel or Daniel Ricciardo: “I would be worried”.
“At least they are having some problems this time and are not two seconds faster than the others, as they were in some places last year,” the Brazilian is quoted by Totalrace.
As the tit-tat between team and engine supplier played out in Jerez, with one side blaming the other, Renault’s Deputy Managing Director Rob White admitted there were big issues.
“There isn’t a single component or system that has caused particular trouble,” he said.
“The next stage is to identify the root causes for the problems we experienced, to develop the solutions to strengthen our validation process so we can be more confident to tackle Bahrain in a more normal way.”
Either way Renault does have to get a move on as the FIA deadline for the first ‘freezing’ of development is the end of February.
Fernando Alonso however expects them to be ready.
“If this (the events of Jerez) had happened in Australia, it would be more decisive,” he is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“But there is still two months, and Red Bull still has the time to do the kilometres that we (Ferrari) have done, and what Mercedes has done.
“I think more than ever this year, we will have to wait for the races to get an idea of where everybody is.”
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU