Red Bull's nightmare continues on fourth day

Friday 31st January 2014, 19:29 by TF1T Staff 

Octane Photographic

Red Bull's nightmare continued on the final day of the first pre-season test in Jerez on Friday, despite efforts to temporarily overcome the issues they've been experiencing.

The championship-defending outfit completed just seven laps before they called it a day, half-way through Friday's running. That brings their total tally to just 21 laps - whilst main rival Mercedes completed 309 relatively trouble free.

Whilst some of the problem lies with power unit supplier Renault, the main cause is that of overheating as a result of the way Red Bull has packaged the unit.

As a result - and in the hope of getting some decent mileage under their belt - they cut openings in the bodywork to increase the cooling to the V6 and its complex ERS units. That doesn't seem to have donw the job however, as Ricciardo managed just a handful of laps before retiring to the garage.

Team principal Christian Horner described the test as "difficult" (which may be an understatement), but is hopeful the problem can be solved before the next test in Bahrain.

"It's been a very difficult test," he said. "We have had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress. However, despite the lack of mileage, what we have managed to learn shows that the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain.

"Part of the purpose of this early test was to learn about any issues ahead of the start of the season and there will now be a lot of focus on the dyno over the next few weeks."

Andy Damerum, race engineering co-ordinator, added: "We did seven laps and every time Daniel went out we made improvements to the control of the engine. We were also making fixes to the issues that have arisen from our side and we have made progress there.

"However, we then discovered a mechanical issue with the car and after investigation it became clear we would not be able to fix this in time to run in the afternoon, so the decision was taken to retire early, take the data we have amassed and work towards the next test in Bahrain.

"Two weeks is a long time in Formula One and we and I'm sure Renault will work flat out now to solve the problems we've been having."

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