Vettel has problems as Mercedes march on

Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:36pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Renault rushed to fix a problem with their new Formula One power unit on Wednesday after Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his first pre-season test early with barely any laps completed.

While the three Renault-powered teams testing in Jerez struggled to put laps on the board, German driver Nico Rosberg completed an impressive 97 in his Mercedes - including one unbroken 24-lap stint.

Ferrari also appeared to be making steady progress, with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen getting 47 laps under his belt in the new F14 T car.

Champions Red Bull called time on the second day with hours remaining so Renault could fix a problem with the energy store on their RB10 car. Sister team Toro Rosso did not appear on track at all.

"Obviously we are facing problems," Renault Sport F1 track operations head Remi Taffin told a scrum of reporters crowding around his motorhome in the Jerez paddock at the end of the session.

"We know what the problem is, we've got the parts to solve the problem...we are confident that tomorrow morning we will have all three cars on track."

The power unit incorporates complex energy recovery systems and V6 turbo engine, replacing last year's much more straightforward V8s.


Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany runs in the paddock during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo