Red Bull's F1 test nightmare continues

Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:01pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

(Reuters) - Red Bull designer Adrian Newey went back to his drawing board on Thursday after another nightmare day for the Formula One champions in pre-season testing in southern Spain.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who has replaced compatriot Mark Webber as quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel's team mate, broke down on his first lap of the day and managed only two further circuits before Red Bull called time.

Vettel flew home from Jerez on Wednesday night after managing only 11 laps in two days following battery problems with the new Renault power unit. The team said Thursday's issues were similar to the previous day's.

"Adrian has gone back to the drawing board. There is only so much they can do here at the track," Ricciardo told reporters.

"Adrian is pretty happy working in his office back at Milton Keynes and he'll definitely be getting involved in trying to sort out the next step."

Newey, who has designed title-winning cars for three separate teams, actually has an old-style drawing board in his office that he likes to work on with a pencil and jokingly refers to himself as the last of the dinosaurs in a computer-generated age.

He has a real challenge on his hands now, with Formula One undergoing the biggest technical transformation in a generation with a new turbocharged V6 and complicated energy recovery systems as well as revised aerodynamics rules.

Ricciardo said time was still on Red Bull's side, with the team making slow starts to a season in the past only to end up dominant.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One technical chief Adrian Newey (R) and team principal Christian Horner stand in the paddock during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo