Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014

Vettel pins hopes on Australia upgrades

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014Sebastian Vettel is hoping that upgrades to his car for the first race of the season will solve the problems that have dogged Red Bull during testing so far.

With a little over two weeks until the first race of the year in Australia, Vettel was unable to complete a lap in today’s test after a series of problems with his car.

The world champion is unsure whether the situation will improve significantly tomorrow as some of the parts they need won’t be ready until they arrive in Melbourne.

“It’s difficult to say how long it will take to remedy,” said Vettel. “I think some things will just come down to the fact that in two weeks’ time we’ll have lots of new parts on the car.”

“We’ve had some damage because of the problems we’ve had here and the parts aren’t available overnight, so from that side I think things will get better over the next couple of weeks.

“We obviously haven’t done much running but from the little we have done has been quite promising, so I think once we get going the speed should be OK.”

Race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum explained Vettel’s problems today: “Given how well the car behaved yesterday we were anticipating a solid run for Seb today but almost as soon as he went out there was an electrical problem, which meant stopped him on track.”

“We brought the car back, identified the issue, which is one other teams have had but which hadn’t affected us so far, and set about fixing it.

“We got ready for another run but this time the car stopped in pit lane. We brought it back again and discovered a leak, which we thought we could fix but it turned out that it had caused enough damage that we weren’t able to go out again.

“Having run so well yesterday it is frustrating to have had these problems today, but all we can do is keep solving the issues.”

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

57 comments on “Vettel pins hopes on Australia upgrades”

  1. It’s quite something when a RedBull can’t even finish an instillation lap. I don’t know what upgrades that would fix that without redesigning the rear of the car to free up cooling space.

    1. Newey wants the tight packaging so much that he just wouldn’t want to try easing up the rear.

    2. As Andy Damerum explains it @blackmamba, it sounds like they are now having all those ‘minor issues’ as Horner called them, but one after the other, taking more time to find, sort and fix than expected.

      Usually those would have been found and solved in that 1st Jerez test, but this year isn’t usual, and the team had other issues delaying them enough to also stop them getting to this initial part of testing.

      I do think what Vettel says about the pace is encouraging for them (I do hope they will struggle just a bit for a few more races though), both because they did learn something about that, and because it means this isn’t a McLaren ‘octopus exhaust’ that was unreliable AND overcomplicated.

      Then again, McLaren could just take the RBR solution and bolt it on, suddenly being there at the 1st race while these issues are inside the car itself so the solution is probably a lot more tricky. I agree that it looks like it needs some redesign.

    3. Red Bull is just playing like the “Team in Troubles”. To me, they are going to show everything in Melbourne.

    4. @blackmamba and weight I should add. Above all I’m surprised that Renault and RBR didn’t do a better job.

  2. At this rate, Red Bull will be pinning more hopes on new upgrades than Man United on next season. At this rate, Red Bull will be pinning their hope for Abu Dhabi to score their first point. Well, points.

    1. Its RBR. They have always had the more unreliable car. However that is because they focus on speed first. When (and it is just a matter of time) they fix their reliability, they will likely have the quickest car.

      1. Kinda “to finish, you have to finish first” approach :)

    2. Lotus-Grosjean
      1st March 2014, 18:50

      The word “points” make this a COTD!

      1. Lotus-Grosjean
        1st March 2014, 18:52


  3. i somehow have a feeling Redbull are going to surprise us again this year…

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      1st March 2014, 16:19


    2. true, by starting and finishing the race from back of the grid.

  4. I’m sure they’ll be up there once they get it running, but this could be the worst start to a title defence since Damon Hill…

  5. Their car is fast, the problem is that it doesn’t work. In many respects it’s better to have a fast, not working car than a working car that’s slow. Renault say their engine problems are software related, and Red Bull say they have cooling problems. Both should be relatively easy to fix (compared to designing a complex, working aero package), so I would expect Red Bull to be at the front at least within the first few races.

    1. Like you say should be easy to fix and they have had 11 days to do so thus far . Something strange is going on here .

    2. You must also remember while RB are trying to get the car to work their rivals are already working on set up, pit stop practice and fuel saving techniques.

    3. Renault say their engine problems are software related, and Red Bull say they have cooling problems. Both should be relatively easy to fix

      I can ensure to you that a software problem is never easy to fix even though i don’t know how severe the Renault problem is. In software engineering engineers are always organized in way to prevent from this happening they follow specific approaches when writing programs to deliver a product 100% compliant with the customers recommendations, i have my doubts that these serious problems are software related, maybe it is a PR statement to make people think that it is a simple issue but it isn’t It is easier to change the design of a mechanical component than changing the design of a software component BTW engine are already homologated if Renault didn’t fix those issues before the homologation date they are in a big trouble
      As for cooling issues they are easy to fix but at the cost of aerodynamic, Adrian can redesign the side pods and makes them bigger but he will never do that because he wants to maximize the undercut

  6. CovertGiblets
    1st March 2014, 17:05

    Once Mr Newey gets to grips with the idiosyncrasies of that car, it will be mighty quick. We’ve had a sneak preview (albeit briefly) of its potential.

    There’s a reason why he’s packaged the car the way he has. He has a design philosophy which he’s not going to abandon because of a difficult birth. That, simply not the Newey way.

    The only real question for me is how quickly this will happen.

    I am not a Red Bull fan. Far from it. But you can’t help but admire a man who sticks to a concept as tenaciously as Mr N

    1. He has a design philosophy which he’s not going to abandon because of a difficult birth. That, simply not the Newey way.

      Loved it sir

  7. Guess about time I sit back and see more TVs getting smashed in 2014 than 2013.

  8. The RB10 looks like a fast car, but just not ready. This can only be blamed on one person, Christian Horner. Newey actually seems to have done a good job, cause the performance potential seems to be there. But Horner should have switched off the development of the RB9 way earlier. Just like Renault, Redbull themselves are just late. Had they started earlier, then they possibly they could have done what Mercedes did, and take a filming day even before the start of testing in Jerez to make sure the car is functional. This winter was all about timing, and Horner got it wrong. The fact Newey was assisting their race team at the last couple of races in 2013 underlines that. He shouldn’t have been there.

    1. Is it that people have short memories of F1? they developed till the last day of ’10 it didn’t stop them from dominating in ’11 or did ’12 stop them in decimating the opposition in ’13.

      1. @rockie, Before you accuse people of having short memories, think about it first. From ’09 till ’13 regulations where relatively stable. Newey described the RB5-RB9 as being of the same design, but suited for each years regulations. The RB10 is an all new car. It was cocky from them to think they could be late and get away with it.

        1. @me4me I have to agree with you, but bear in mind the primary objective was to secure the 2013 world titles. I don’t think it will have compromised them too much as come Belgium they will have recognised that they held a convincing advantage. But until then Mercedes were still a very real threat – even esteemed members of the F1 Fraternity felt that was the case.

        2. The RB8 had to be re-designed as EBD was banned at the end of ’11.
          So you think a team like RB did not split their resources others could just not compete simples, the car was good and they found straight line speed!

          1. The RB8 had to be re-designed as EBD was banned at the end of ’11.

            Newey said that the RB8 features the same concept as the RB5 in ,he has done this before with Williams and Mclaren

  9. You dont need track time to fix an issue. You need factory time. Track time is used to identify issues.

    They still have plenty factory time and will likely arrive in Oz with all their known issues fixed.

    1. @joshua-mesh But with the Australian GP just over two weeks’ time, wouldn’t the teams have already decided on the upgrade packages?

      1. To an extent. If something important popped up in testing it would be moronic of them to ignore it just because of a prior decision. It would make testing pointless if they disregarded the info found during the tests.

      2. There’s no reason they cant attempt to fix a known issue before Oz. The point of testing is to make issues known, not to fix issues there and then. Sure they do some minor temporary fixes in the garage, but that is mainly due to their need to get back on track to continue finding other issues.

    2. Alex McFarlane
      1st March 2014, 19:53

      The difficulty for Red Bull though is that there may be undiscovered issues that might only crop up over longer distances. The teams who have clocked up the miles in testing will already have an idea of running issues over long distances, and they won’t stand still waiting for Red Bull to catch up.
      At least we don’t have to wait long to see what they can do.

  10. johnny stick
    1st March 2014, 20:24

    I am puzzled by these teams ability to fix things at the track. The seem to bring the whole factory tooling with them, why cant they just make the need parts at the track? or is the (re) design turnaround time killing their progress during testing?

    1. U can’t bring an autoclave to the circuit ;)

    2. It would depend on the component that is being made – small parts, such as one of the smaller winglets on the front wing, can and indeed have been made by the track through rapid prototyping techniques.
      However, the production tolerances and increased complexity of a larger component – be it one of the larger wing elements or, say, a suspension wishbone that required carbon fibre and metallic components to be bonded together (which is not a trivial task) means that it is better to produce those components under the much more rigorous and tightly controlled environment of the main factory.

  11. What about the 107% rule?

    Because at this point, a third of the cars would not even start the race …

    1. Dont need to worry about the 107% rule then.

    2. There will be plenty of excuses to claim “exceptional circumstances”.

  12. Kimi & Alonso must be thinking “Holly Molly Guacamole…. I am darn lucky that I did not pickup that Red Bull drive….Phew !!!!!! ”

    Webber must be thinking “Good Riddance!!!!!!”


    Riccardo must be thinking “I might have been better off with Torro Rosso, At least that car can go around the Track Once !!!!!”

    1. Imagine Maldonado. From the backmaker Williams, he made the jump to the coveted Lotus seat. Now Williams is a serious contender and Lotus, well…

  13. Every time that arrogant punk gave us all the finger (flipping us the bird) I couldn’t wait for him to eat humble pie. Well, now is the time. Good luck finishing a race this year. finger boy.

    1. @henslayer “Finger boy”? That’s so 2011. You might want to update your bile spewing. (Try something that incorporates “multi 21.”)

      1. How about no?

      2. Multi 21-finger salute!

    2. I’ll have to write down your username to rub it in the next time he wins. You deserve it.

      1. I’m sure we will not have to wait that long till that happens ^^

  14. The comments above are mostly overoptimistic. They have had 3 tests to fix issues. To think that with no testing they will show up with a good car for Australia is unrealistic. Most likely it will be a very bad first few GPs for Red Bull.

    However even one single race could help to improve the car more than any number of tests. So there is hope yet for them.

    My big question is not around reliability but speed. Not one of the Mercedes teams experienced over heating issues, does that mean Mercedes engine is too conservative? And maybe Ferrari got the correct balance between speed and reliability? About Renault, well they could be fast, but can the teams make it work?

    Can’t wait for the first GP.

  15. Kinda think RBR fans are pinning there hopes on a fix for oz but didnt they say there car would be fixed for the first test in bahrain and then again for the 2nd test at bahrain and can hardly blame all problems on renault as other teams with the same PU are running much more consistently which I think RBR have messed up much more than there letting on. Think people will be waiting much longer for an RBR win than they think. Hope they do prove me wrong though, would be an awesome season if merc mclaren ferrari and redbull where all contenders maybe even Williams!

  16. Give Vettel a chance, i’m sure he will pull out a 4 time champion like drive and at least get a podium.

    1. Do you mean 5 time champion?

    2. The way things are going at red bull even finishing a race will feels like podium

  17. And you wonder why we have double points at the last race… Its to let Seb and Red Bull mess up the first few races and still win the season.

    1. I thought that was to let Ferrari not win any race at all and still be champions?

  18. I think we will see Williams surprising us this season and I hope Masa tells us a good story. I think he is a really nice guy and deserves much more. Let’s hope this time around he is treated fairly.

  19. Good news! So the fix is coming in Australia… Is this the same fix they said they’d have at Bahrain 1, or perhaps it’s the one they were to have at this Bahrain 2… Hmm haha

  20. Got a funny feeling that RB might be hiding their light. Will not be surprised to find that all those problems will dissapear just in time! Would very muvh like to see a season where several teams stand a real chance though.

Comments are closed.