Red Bull downplays reliability worries despite troubled last day of testing

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has played down worries about his team's reliability ahead of the new season, despite some troubles in the final Barcelona test

Red Bull downplays reliability worries despite troubled last day of testing

The reigning world champion introduced its latest update package for the final two days at the Circuit de Catalunya, but it did not complete the kind of mileage that it had hoped for.

On the final day, a gearbox problem on the RB8 meant Sebastian Vettel was only able to do 23 laps as a number of rivals were able to complete race distances.

But although Vettel himself rated the team's winter testing programme as 'happier than 5 [out of 10] and less than 10 - something in between', Horner seems more upbeat.

"It has been a respectable winter for us to be honest," he told AUTOSPORT. "We pushed hard through that first test. We have ticked most of the boxes that we wanted to, and that is the thing with the way testing is constructed. You are doing your dirty washing in public on many occasions.

"I think it has been constructive. Looking back to 12 months ago when we were faced with a lot of KERS issues and so on, I think it has been a positive winter testing period.

"I don't think there is anything too different from the last couple of years. Certainly last year was tougher because KERS was a bigger issue and we ended up not running at the first race, but 12 months on KERS has hardly been mentioned this year."

Although many rival teams believe that Red Bull Racing remains the team to beat for the start of the campaign, Horner says he remains unsure about its chances.

"It is so difficult to tell. We have been trying to focus on our own programme, learn about the tyres and learn about the car. We will see in two weeks where the starting order for the season is, and that will no doubt fluctuate as there will be a development race for sure throughout the year.

"Whilst on paper we had a totally dominant year last year, it was obviously fairly tight on numerous occasions last year, even at the first race with McLaren. So it is difficult to say. Until we go to the first race, it will be impossible to say who is where. We hope to be competitive, and I think both drivers are in good shape - but Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, you cannot underestimate them."

shares
comments
Marussia unveils its 2012 challenger

Previous article

Marussia unveils its 2012 challenger

Next article

Kimi: If you write me off, you don't know me

Kimi: If you write me off, you don't know me
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021