Red Bull packs up early from Jerez

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Red Bull and its Renault power unit have had issues throughout the first week of testing (Wednesday, Thursday) for the new Formula One season.

Daniel Ricciardo said this was likely something that would needed to be fixed at the factory. The team added end of day Thursday, “We’re trying to get the car ready for tomorrow. If things don’t go to plan then, we have 2 weeks until the next test so time’s on our side.”

The car was ready for Friday, but, the niggling issues continued. After seven laps Friday, and 21 total over four days, the team has packed up early and left Jerez, and are en route back to the factory at Milton Keynes.

“It’s been a very difficult test. We have had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress,” said team principal Christian Horner.

“What we have managed to learn shows that the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain. There will now be a lot of focus on the dyno over the next few weeks.”

Here’s the official tweet from the team confirming its early departure:

Interestingly, Lotus opted to put a snarky dig in at its fellow Renault-powered squad earlier this week, even though it didn’t head to Jerez on its own. When replying to a tweet from former F1 driver Taki Inoue, this was Lotus’ response:

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.