Daniel Ricciardo has backed Red Bull to put right their problems in testing because they are “the best team in the world”.
For the third day running in Jerez, Red Bull were forced to bring an early end to their testing. It means that over the four days, the reigning four-times Formula One champions have managed a miserable total of just 21 laps — 11 for Sebastian Vettel and 10 for new team-mate Ricciardo — because of a series of mechanical problems.
But Ricciardo, who moved from sister team Toro Rosso over the winter as a replacement for fellow Australian Mark Webber, said: “We’ve the best team in the world and they’re going to turn this around.
“We’re not going to get down about it because if anyone can pull it off, it’s these guys.
“It’s just as we expected, it’s going to take a bit of time, so we’ll go back and hopefully figure it all out.”
The team have encountered a range of problems, including issues with the new Renault powertrains and energy recovery system (ERS), along with a rushed build of the RB10 that resulted in them packaging the highly-complex components for this season far too tightly.
That, in turn, resulted in overheating issues, with parts known to have burned up in the intense heat generated under the chassis.
In a last-ditch bid for track time yesterday, photographs emerged of the car equipped with makeshift vents in the bodywork. But after just seven laps, all completed in the opening two hours of a wet morning, Red Bull decided they could go no further by lunchtime.
“It’s a complex system not going to take 24 hours to solve,” Ricciardo added.
“We came here to drive, but also to understand, and I think they’ve definitely understood things, so let’s see what happens in a few weeks. It’s best now we get some time away from the track and figure out what needs to be done.
“The season’s not started, we’re not losing points by not driving now. We’ve still time to claw back the track time we’ve lost.”
The second testing stint begins in Bahrain on February 19. With a touch of understatement, team principal Christian Horner claimed the test was “very difficult” but was confident Red Bull would get on top of their troubles.
Horner 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 the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain.”
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