Alternator a "ticking time bomb" for Red Bull

Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:10am EST
 

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Red Bull and Renault will be working flat out to ensure Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel does not go into next weekend's title showdown in Brazil with a 'ticking time bomb' deep inside his car.

Vettel leads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 13 points ahead of the final round at Interlagos after finishing runner-up to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

While Red Bull clinched their third constructors' title in a row, the celebrations were muted by Vettel being denied his third successive crown for at least another week and reliability problems affecting Australian team mate Mark Webber.

"Reliability is a concern, it's unfortunately our third alternator failure this year which is a ticking time bomb," Red Bull's technical head Adrian Newey told Britain's Sky television.

"You never know when that one is going to strike. Renault haven't managed to find a proper solution to that one so that's a continual worry in the back of our minds as is the rest of the reliability.

"The cars are very complicated and keeping them going around is anything but guaranteed."

Webber pulled over after his car's alternator failed, a recurring problem for the Renault-powered team this season, while he was running in third place at the Circuit of the Americas.

A similar failure halted Vettel at the European Grand Prix in Valencia while he was leading and the 25-year-old German also suffered alternator problems at Monza in Italy when he stopped six laps from the end.   Continued...

 
Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 18, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif