Daniel Ricciardo may be driving the new Red Bull car around Jerez on Friday, but the team’s focus is already firmly on ensuring the disaster that unfolded at the Spanish circuit does not occur in Bahrain less than three weeks from now.
Indeed after a shocking Thursday, which saw a fire and the young Australian complete just three laps on his official debut for the world champions, team boss Christian Horner, designer Adrian Newey, advisor Helmut Marko and Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz all flew back to the team’s base in Milton Keynes.
“Adrian has gone back to the drawing board, definitely,” Ricciardo told reporters after ending his day before lunch.
“I think the break before Bahrain is going to help the team a lot, even if tomorrow [Friday] doesn’t go to plan, we still won’t be worried.
“Time is still on our side. Even if we go to Melbourne with whatever (issues), it’s a long season. These guys know how to win and I’m sure we’ll sort it out,” he added.
Certainly after a tumultuous three days which saw the RB10 fail to complete 20 laps, much of the blame was been apportioned towards engine supplier Renault, who admitted there were issues with the new V6 engines.
In fact it is rumoured a heated conversation between Newey and Renault’s Rob White took place before the Red Bull designer flew home, each blaming each other for the problems the current world champions have endured.
However after Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso praised the French engine supplier for a “huge step forward” having found a fix to some of the problems seen for far with all Renault-powered cars, more attention has instead switched onto potential flaws with the RB10.
Newey is well known for his very tight packaging inside the car and, with cooling a much bigger factor in 2014 allied to the new car’s tendency to catch fire, it is thought Newey may have pushed the limits a little too far.
“I guess now there’s only so much he (Newey) can do at the track and I think he’s pretty happy working at his office in Milton Keynes,” added Ricciardo.
One man not complaining at Red Bull’s woes is F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, who after seeing interest in the sport wain thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s domination last year, built up the idea of an unmissable season to come.
“The good thing is that the season could be extremely interesting — really unpredictable, and that is the exciting thing,” he told the Daily Mail.
Also enjoying the shake-up of the new regulations is Williams’ new driver Felipe Massa who commented: “As I drove around, you could see these major differences between the cars.
“I’m not talking about performance; I mean how the cars are braking and how they’re coming out of the corners. It seems as though there are three categories of cars on one track — Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. Even the sound is different."
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