Red Bull continues to struggle in F1 preseason testing

 

The Sports Network

Jerez, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull had another frustrating day of Formula One preseason testing on Wednesday in Jerez, with driver Sebastian Vettel running just eight laps due to further technical problems with the car.

Last year, Vettel won his fourth consecutive F1 world championship, while Red Bull captured its fourth successive constructors' title. Vettel drove Red Bull's 2014 car, the RB10, during the first two days of testing. Daniel Ricciardo is scheduled to drive the car during the last two days in Jerez -- Thursday and Friday -- as he makes his debut with Red Bull.

On Tuesday, Red Bull did not get its car on track until the final 15 minutes of the session. Vettel made only three laps. Red Bull ended its session earlier than expected on Wednesday when the team's engine supplier, Renault, reported an "energy store issue" with the car. The team spent the remainder of the day investigating the problem.

Vettel's quickest lap during day two of testing was clocked in 1 minute, 38.320 seconds, well off pace from the fastest lap posted for the day by McLaren's Jenson Button in 1:24.165.

"Obviously, we've not had a lot of running and have a few problems to sort out, but with such big rule changes, it's usual to have teething problems," Vettel said. "That's what tests are for, to sort those issues out. The next two days will be important to get some track time to prepare for the tests in Bahrain (Feb. 19-22)."

Red Bull is one of many teams having difficulties in getting familiar with the new F1 technical regulations this season, including a revised engine. A 1.6- liter V6 turbocharged engine is replacing the previous 2.4-liter V8 motor.

"This Jerez test was always meant as an engine verification test, in terms of sorting out some of the mapping issues," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. "In reality, it's to get the power units going. Our expectations coming into this test are purely system checks. The proper testing will be in Bahrain."

The second day of testing was a complete turnaround for McLaren. Button completed 43 laps after the team did not make any laps on Tuesday due electrical issues with its MP4-29.

"For our first day of actual running, we were able to get a good understanding of the car and the way the engine and turbo behaves," Button said. "It's tricky and very different to what we're used to, but I could feel that these cars will be enjoyable to drive."

McLaren announced on Wednesday that former Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has been appointed as its new racing director. Boullier begins his role with McLaren on Feb. 3.

Following overnight rain, which left the Jerez circuit damp at the start of day two testing, Pirelli moved up its wet weather tire test, previously scheduled for Friday. After trucks drenched the track with sprinklers, teams spent the morning testing Pirelli's inter and full-wet tires, conducting installation checks.

Nico Rosberg from Mercedes completed the most laps during day two with 97. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen posted the second quickest lap in the session. Raikkonen was just a tick behind Button in 1:24.812. He had the fastest time on day one.

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