Misery early on for Red Bull and Vettel as overheating problems persist in Bahrain

19 February, 2014

Sebastian Vettel waiting to drive in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel waiting to drive in Bahrain

After a forgettable first Formula 1 pre-season test last month in Jerez, the start of the second test in Bahrain did not begin as  Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel would have planned, missing most of the morning session. The RB 10 was again plagued with overheating gremlins.

Proceedings at Sakhir got underway half an hour late, as marshals were stuck in traffic getting to the venue, and when they did get going it was the Renault powered Lotus of Romain Grosjean which took to the track first, with Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, Adrian Sutil in the Sauber and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg getting out early in the day.

Ominously, half of the Renault powered brigade: Red Bull and Toro Rosso – were toiling behind closed doors in their respective garages.

Sebastian Vettel with race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel with race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin in Bahrain

Perhaps a glimmer of hope for them lay in the fact that fellow Renault teams, Lotus and Caterham were managing to do laps, albeit over five seconds down on Kevin Magnussen’s best in the McLaren, which at midday, local time, was 1.39.224.

Almost two hours into the session Red Bull wrote on Twitter: “Good morning from a sunny Bahrain. Working hard in the garage at the moment but we’ll be out on track soon.”

Vettel was suited and ready to drive, and was seen walking through the paddock and hanging out at the team’s hospitality building behind the pit garage complex.

The engine on the RB10 could be heard firing up on occasions, but not for long at a time, as work continued in the World Champion team’s garage.

Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull RB10 in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull RB10 in Bahrain

BBC’s Jenny Gow reported, “I hear from a good source that the problem stopping Toro Rosso running is an oil leak. Red Bull are saying nothing official as yet about what is delaying their testing.”

“I spotted Team Principal Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Renault Engineering Chief Remi Taffin in a summit meeting in the hospitality unit before heading back to the garage. Clearly, all is not well,” added Gow.

Two and half hours into the session Red Bull reported again on Twitter: “Slight delay folks, the team’s still fitting some parts. We’ve fired up and are hoping to be on track shortly. More updates to follow.”

At 13:50 pm local time Vettel finally made it on track, over three and a half hours behind schedule. After an installation lap his first flying lap was 1.45.095 and within a couple of hours the World Champion was down to 1.40.224 which was substantially faster than the other Renault powered cars.

A mid-afternoon stoppage, which saw Vettel jump out the car and grab a fire extinguisher, was a sign that the overheating problems persist.

Although still a few seconds down on their pace setting rivals, it must be noted this was in effect the first time the RB10 was running in anger. (GP247)

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Subbed by AJN.


  • karlich

    1.42.309 … c’mon Red Bull!!! :-D

  • karlich

    1.40.224 … and a bit of a crash it seems, but they’re getting there. *huge smile*

  • karlich

    With ~ 0.00.600 off of Ferrari’s pace, they’re coming. Time to play some Inner Circle… Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

  • Ankit

    I have just this to say to you – HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Lame. They did NOTHING today. Red Bull is going down yo! They are 2.333 seconds off Ferrari’s pace. Do not even compare. And don’t post timings and conclude something in the middle of the testing session. Just a tip. Red Bull is in the deepest sh*t known to mankind and I hope they stay there and see how it feels ;)

  • karlich

    Well, excuse my early enthusiasm, but considering today was the first time they lapped some “fast” laps, being off the pace is still okay. Hope they do some long runs tomorrow.

    As for going down and seeing how it feels – don’t gloat, they might come ask Ferrari for a few pointers on how to cope, seeing that Ferrari has so much experience in long bouts of unsuccessful championships… 10 years in a row, 15 years in a row, now 5 ;-)

  • Ankit

    I’m sure they would come ask Ferrari for a lot of pointers. Everybody has ups and downs, it takes a brave heart to know how to cope with it and come out of it with flying colours. Something tells me Red Bull isn’t really the kind to cope with stuff like this. They will come, they will come crying:)

  • karlich

    Hehe, I think we could go on replying to each other forever. I don’t think the man who stands behind Red Bull Racing, same guy who shaped a $4 billion empire, entertains 2 F1 teams, resurrected a former F1 track, is involved in so many motorsport campaigns on 2 and 4 wheels or wings, jumping outta space, off of cliffs, dives through cracks in mountains, bikes of all shapes and sizes, plunges in to the deep blue, and heaven knows what else not… well I just don’t think the company, the teams and the man behind all that know what “giving up” means.

    In the end, be you Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes or whatever fan, that’s what makes them all great teams – they just fight on – and for me, Red Bull is well up for a fight ;-)

  • karlich

    I am still willing to give them the benefit of doubt sometime up to Spielberg or maybe even Hungaroring if they do well in the mid-field ;-)

    I thought today’s run wasn’t all that bad. Basically they performed just as well as most other teams did on the first day in Jerez. Obviously they are still weeks behind the Merc’s and Ferrari’s, but I still hope they catch up considerably and give these guys a good run for their money a few races in to the season.

  • karlich

    Besides, look at it this way, if Lewis or Alonso come to winning terms this season, at least we can pounce them how they are only able of winning because their cars are so much better >:-D

  • McLarenfan

    At this time Renault must be bricking it they know the unit must be able to run flat out before they are banned from altering it. This unit works on low power packed in dry ice as soon as it is given the job of going for a hot lap it gets hot and melts down. I think at this rate the most expensive paperweight might need replacing wit a re-badge’d Merc unit

  • TheDudeson

    It’s a shame that all the power units are not at least running – at this rate there are going to be half the field finishing in Melbourne if we lucky

  • Tamburello1994

    That comment got held up by the moderator so I had an incomplete picture at the time of posting. Looks a bit dated now. Basically reflecting the sediment I was finding at various sources not just here at Gp247. Blood is definitely in the water – that’s the meme being set for Red Bull. Still, everyone is putting on the brave face and I haven’t lost complete faith they can pull it together. Before they leave Bahrain they better had put down some blistering times and show they are “ready” or the media will have a field day with that narrative all the way to Melbourne.

  • Tamburello1994

    Oh, O.K. Because I thought it was impossible to win a championship without Adrian Newey. Glad you schooled me up on that.

  • Tamburello1994

    Well played.

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