February 20, 2018 / 3:17 PM / 10 months ago

Motor racing: Ricciardo pranged new Red Bull car on track debut

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian Daniel Ricciardo crashed Red Bull’s new Formula One car on its track debut, it emerged on Tuesday, but the team said the damage was minor and there would be no consequences for testing in Spain next week.

Formula One F1 - Brazilian Grand Prix 2017 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 11, 2017 Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo before qualifying REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

“No issues for Barcelona, we’ll be fine,” said a team spokesman.

The closed session, limited to 100km on special Pirelli tires, at a wet Silverstone circuit on Monday was for private filming.

Footage provided by the team after the session showed Ricciardo driving the new RB14 out of the garage and down the pit lane before lapping in a cloud of spray, but did not mention any incident.

However media reports said the session was cut short after the Australian hit the barriers.

Spare parts such as front wings are always in short supply ahead of the first test of the season, with teams continuing the car build as late as possible.

The autosport.com website reported, citing unnamed sources, that the impact was hard enough to damage the front of the car, suspension and floor.

Ricciardo made no reference to any problems in a statement issued by Red Bull after the track debut.

“It’s hard to tell from a couple of laps but the initial feeling in the car is good,” he had said. “I can already feel that the rear feels pretty settled, even in these poor conditions. Those are encouraging early signs.”

Former champions Red Bull won three of 20 races last year and finished third overall, behind world champions Mercedes and Ferrari. They hope the RB14 will enable them to challenge for the championship this time.

The Australian also had no problems with the new ‘halo’ head protection device, which rises from a central pillar in front of the driver and is mandatory this season.

“So far I can see fine with the halo. I’d only done a couple of installs with it before so it was pretty new today but I really didn’t notice it was there, which is pretty good,” he said.

“Honestly, unless there’s stuff above, I don’t see any issues at all on a flat track.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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