Time may be running out for four-time reigning World Champions Red Bull, who suffered through more issues with their Renault-powered RB10 today during the start of the final F1 preseason test at Bahrain International Circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo had started things off today well enough with a total of 32 laps in the morning. But his afternoon session was marred by an exhaust problem on the car that sent the Australian into the paddock.
He wouldn’t return until late in the session, adding another seven laps for a total of 39 on the day. His fastest lap was a 1:37.908, good for seventh on the time sheets.
Afterwards, Ricciardo tried to keep positive despite the setback.
“The morning was much better for us with a few longer runs,” said Ricciardo. “Behind the wheel, that’s the best I’ve felt so far. The package seems to be coming together better. We still had a few issues today, but at least when the car was on track it was much more useful running and we made progress in the morning.
“It’s getting there. I’d love to keep going, but at least [Sebastian Vettel] has two days after me in the car, so I think we’ll be looking pretty good for the next three days.”
Team race engineering coordinator Andy Damerun said that the plan had been for Ricciardo to increase the length of his runs incrementally.
“We sent Daniel out for a long-ish run, but we had to abort about five laps in, as we noticed some issues on the sensors,” he said. “We brought him in, had a look at the car and discovered that we had a problem with the exhaust. So we had a long afternoon in the garage, but we did manage to get Daniel back out at the end of the session, which was good.
“We have some work to do overnight but hopefully tomorrow, we’ll able to run in a similar style to this morning.”