Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014

Red Bull encouraged by progress in Bahrain

2014 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014Red Bull were satisfied with their most productive day of testing so far this year in Bahrain after Sebastian Vettel covered 59 laps in the RB10.

“We had a good day,” said race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum. “We did a tremendous amount of work overnight and the guys really pulled it together, so much so that we were ahead of schedule with the car this morning.”

“We were able to fix the problem we had yesterday very quickly and there were no lingering issues, so we managed some good running today.

“Every lap you turn gives you a huge amount of data and that’s gold dust, so we’re pleased with what we got done today.”

However he cautioned that one good day of running has not solved all their problems:

“We’re not out of the woods yet and we still have a lot of work to do but the direction we’ve taken is looking like the right one.

“After a successful morning we tried some new elements late in the day, which we had been waiting for. Sebastian felt those were a big step forward, so overall a very encouraging session.

“The times of course are irrelevant, as we’re solely focused on reliability at the moment, and in that respect we feel we are making good progress.”

Vettel said he was encouraged by his busiest day’s work so far in the new car: “It was good to get a proper first feel for the car and it feels OK but there’s a lot more to come.”

“It’s difficult to talk about catching up because I don’t know what other people are doing, but we did more laps than we have done so far and that’s the big thing.”

Daniel Ricciardo will take over the car for the remaining two days of the test.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Red Bull encouraged by progress in Bahrain”

  1. I’ve noticed that Vettel has been using the word “OK” a lot when describing the car recently, which seems in contrast to how he’s described them in past years at this stage.

    It’s very early days, but I’m beginning to wonder if there’s more than just a cooling issue here.

    1. I just think nobody knows where the others are. He’s not gonna say the car is awesome, nobody knows yet … Williams can be a front runner this year or maybe they’ll have an off season like last year, nobody knows …

    2. But he’s got this cheeky smile every – five six words he smirks and smiles and continues the answer… wonder if that means: we have some good things coming or we’re absolutely screwed.

  2. All progress is good progress at this point, but I think we’re at a point where Red Bull are already loosing points. We’re are halfway through testing, and Red Bull has only just started its installation process. And with mileage so utterly crucial in stabilizing the reliability of these cars, it is becoming difficult to imagine that at least one of the RB10’s won’t be part of the half of the field that Horner predicted would retire in Melbourne (I have seen little evidence to suggest that that won’t be the case). And in 2014, its not just reliability issues in the race that will cost you points, because if a power unit fails in the second half of FP1, you”l miss precious running in FP2, and if a power unit fails in FP3, you’ll miss qualifying. How do you win the 2014 Australian GP? Have a seamless weekend in terms of reliability, which is very much an open goal for a Hulkenberg or a Bottas (yes, ladies and gentlemen, we will undoubtedly have strange results in the first half of 2014).

    The RB10 is undoubtedly dripping in aerodynamic grip, but unless it can start showing the kind of bulletproof(ish) form Mercedes (the fact that even the saintly W05 broke down twice today really is an example of just how mad the Australian GP might be) or Ferrari have shown in the first half of testing, it is becoming difficult to envisage how it might contend for an Australian win. And that’s a shame, because I was really rather hoping to see whether Vettel could make the difference in a car similar to a Mercedes or Ferrari…

    1. way too early to draw such conclusions. even in the last few years with rather stable regulations we saw quite a lot of fluctuation between and throughout seasons.

      1. @tmf42 – Did we see a lot of fluctuations? However, that is a separate debate, the thing is I think we now know enough to start making predictions. We know that mileage in winter testing this year is much more important than in previous years, and that it will prove fundamental to stabilizing the reliability of the cars. We also now know that Red Bull are substantially behind both in terms of mileage but more importantly installation, and with Red Bull set to spend the entirety of testing on the fundamentals, other teams can start finding the sweet spot of their car, and that will give them a performance advantage on top of their reliability advantage. We can therein suggest that that will have a detrimental effect on the first few races for Red Bull.

    2. When people talk about reliability its as if Merc or Ferrari are immune from it just because of the current laps they covering!
      They could get to Melbourne and have an issue in the race!

      1. Maybe, but it’s far more likely the combination of RB extreme packaging, Renault problems, and RBs long KERS problems will be combined into huge reliability problems.

        Also, have Mercedes even had big failures, as in, test-ending failures?

        1. You don’t need a test ending failure, you only need one fault in a race and pre season wont matter a jot!

        2. @austus – Exactly my point.
          @rockie – Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari may also not just have a reliability advantage by Melbourne. We also now know that Red Bull are substantially behind both in terms of mileage but more importantly installation, and with Red Bull set to spend the entirety of testing on the fundamentals, other teams can start finding the sweet spot of their car, and that will give them a performance advantage on top of their reliability advantage.

    3. Still too early to tell, would never put anything past RBR.

      And sorry, it’s “losing” not “loosing”

  3. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
    20th February 2014, 18:51

    59 laps! Every day of testing I’ve been logging into F1Fanatic hoping Red Bull would get their act together, and every day I’ve been disappointed. Every day until today.

  4. Vettel will be the 2014 World Champion.

    1. Indeed, let’s not write them off. I’m pretty sure they will be a top 3 team again by the second half of the season ^^

    2. Good luck to him, but I’d rather put my money elsewhere and it’s not all down to their current form.

  5. Red Bull still have some serious catching up to do if they are to be in with a chance in Melbourne of achieving a historic tenth win in a row with Vettel. Even despite the fact comparatively Red Bull had a very good day’s running, the Mercedes teams I believe still achieved more running (and in the hands of Magnussen significantly faster times).

    I said at the start of the week and I stand by it – Red Bull must be within two seconds of the Mercedes runners by the end of the week if they are wishing to start the season on the right foot.

    1. Testing times do not mean squat. At the beginning of recent seasons we have seen many teams look like they have it to take the titles only to see them fall back. I’m looking at you Ferrari. Red Bull always seem to have issues at the start of the season(2011 is an exception). But they always finish strong in the second half. So I am not worried.

  6. yeeeessssss! merc and ferrari: make way for your dominator!!!!

  7. So I see that Red Bull are about to come back to their usual formidable form.
    For most F1 fans this means oh dear…

    Here’s a scenario I would like to see:
    RBR, Ferrari and Merc all battling for the top seat. Lotus, Mclaren and FI are up there as well.
    Who else (I’m guessing alot of people) wants to see this scenario?

  8. There is a huge build up of expectation among a lot of fans that hopefully Red Bull won’t dominate right from the first GP this season. That is to be expected. A lot of us find it boring when the same driver/team wins year after year. Schumi’s long-winning streak with Ferrari had me almost switching off. And I was and still am a huge fan of his!

    How disappointing is it going to be if Vettel and Red Bull dominate the first quarter of this season?

    1. Very disappointing.
      @Shimks there is little need to ask the question “How disappointing is it going to be if Vettel and red Bull dominate the first quarter of the season?”
      If they dominate once more, I might almost might switch off F1 too!

    2. @shimks

      How disappointing is it going to be if Vettel and Red Bull dominate the first quarter of this season?

      Not at all disappointing.

      This is nothing intrinsically wrong about a situation in any sport where one person or team wins all the time, providing they are doing so fair and square. As long as the racing is good I don’t care if the same driver wins every race.

      That’s a big caveat, I know, and I’ve struggled to find much satisfaction in gimmick-era racing. But I’m hopeful. If the cars are still a handful to drive when the season begins I think we could be in for a lot of fun. Whoever wins.

      1. You know what, Keith: for once, I don’t believe you! I think you’re just trying to convince yourself!!

        I know there is nothing wrong with one driver/team continuously dominating per se. But it doesn’t change the fact that it would be more interesting if there was more variety at the top of the score sheet.

        Of course, there is much more that’s interesting about the race apart from who wins it. The mid-field has its own battles, as do the back-markers. And when one team has by far the best driver/car pairing then we must content ourselves with the rest of the spectacle.

        As long as the racing is good I don’t care if the same driver wins every race.

        The fact remains that a racing season will always be more enjoyable to follow if there is a more balanced field and the winner is not a forgone conclusion. Kudos to Red Bull and Sebastien if they win both titles yet another time in 2014… but you’re not telling me that you wouldn’t prefer to see a tooth-and-nail fight to the last race?

      2. Well said @keithcollantine ‘as long as the racing is good’ for sure, but it hasn’t been. RBR have made it look too easy….not saying that is a fault but just a reality. And because of that I think that if somehow they were to dominate the first quarter a lot of people might fall off the bandwagon of F1 and assume nothing has changed. This is why I am so stuck on them shedding more downforce…the racing MUST get closer, or people won’t stick around for the odd bit of good racing that can happen in between DRS passing.

      3. RB are sandbagging
        the season is over

      4. Also what people fail to understand is Renault supplies 8 cars on the grid can you picture a scenario where if they don’t make the 107% rule based on the times so far what happens is 8 cars out before the race starts!
        Am sure that alone would make people turn off ala Indianapolis ’05

  9. Today was a great day for Redbull. But im worried about the lap times. Yes they don’t mean anything in testing etc etc. They are 5 seconds of the pace, and im not sure if Vettel could’ve done a 1:34 even if they tried. Kobayashi confirmed today, he thinks currently the Renault engine is down on power as the Merc-teams were going 20-30km/h faster on the straights. That’s worrying. More than the problems Redbull themselves already have.

    1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      20th February 2014, 22:20

      It is very likely their engine is not running at anything near full revs. They are basically where everyone else was on day one back in Jerez, limping around the track trying to stop bits from falling off the car. I would not make any conclusions based on their pace today.

    2. @me4me I wouldn’t worry unti at least the end of this test, for Renault are essentially at stage one: almost no running prior to this test, so having to go through the reliability assurance phase of development before they can begin to crank up the power.

      I would not be surprised to see the engine down on power, but I don’t believe the data is representative of the true situation at that point. The first true indications we will get will be at the second Bahrain test – when everyone begins to progress towards the car which will race in Australia. If then Red Bull are still distinctly behind the Mercedes cars, it will be cause for concern.

      1. However the target must be to ensure some performance running towards the end of this test, as there has yet to be any serious running of that sort from Red Bull. As I stated in a previous comment I think they should target to be within two seconds of the Mercedes cars come Saturday.

    3. Or, the Renault could be far more effecient and economical than the Merc and Ferrari engines

      1. Glad to see you guys so positive! I personally lost most of my faith in Renault since the winter. I hope Renault can do well, so Redbull and Lotus can do well, but there is a long road ahead, which i think Renault cannot bridge this year. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Probably more of the same as today, but some fast laps would be nice and possibly restore some faith ^^

    4. Kobayashi was also on super-softs for his fast lap, I assume? So if he ~5s slower than Magnussen on super-softs in a Mercedes powered McLaren, then that would be quite an encouraging sign for Caterham? Given 20-30 km/h less down the straights and hardly controlable feeling out of slow corners – I’ve read the article too – then Caterham would be only 2s slower than McLaren if I assume that 20-30 km/h less costs you about 3s on this track where engine power and driveability out of slow corners is often needed.

      1. Running with their braking chute for a sidepod, Caterham are hardly a reference for top speed of the Renault engined cars, not saying he doesn’t have a point though.

  10. kobayashi just confirmed renault power unit is massively down on power compared to mercs and that it’s power delivery is way too aggressive in slow corners.

    1. maybe his gearing is off, or he doesnt know which gear to be in.

    2. kobayashi hasn’t driven any merc powered cars so he is guessing as much as anyone else really. Lack of speed down the straights could be down to a lot of things; stability and speed through the previous corner, traction, drag. The caterham is said to have huge sidepods so i imagine their drag level is quite high compared to the opposition.

      As for aggressive power delivery, same argument applies, he doesn’t have anything to compare it to. And as pxcmerc said he might just have to get used to using higher gears or being smoother on the throttle.

  11. RBR chance to start caching-up will be around Silverstone.

  12. Vettel is the sole reason why Red Bull has won 4 straight. He will prove his worth as 4 time WDC again this year.

    1. what?

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