Ricciardo: RB will bounce back

  • Last Updated: January 31 2014, 16:48 GMT

Daniel Ricciardo has backed Red Bull to put right their problems in testing because they are "the best team in the world".

Smoke comes from the broken down Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo
Smoke comes from the broken down Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo

For the third day running in Jerez, Red Bull were forced to bring an early end to their test.

It means that over the four days the reigning four-times Formula One champions have managed a miserable grand total of just 21 laps - 11 for Sebastian Vettel and 10 for new team-mate Ricciardo because of a series of mechanical problems.

But Ricciardo, who moved from sister team Toro Rosso over the winter as a replacement for fellow Australian Mark Webber, said: "We do have the best team in the world and they're going to turn this thing around.

"We're not going to get down about it because if anyone can pull it off, it's these guys.

"It's just that as we expected it's going to take a bit of time, so we'll go back and hopefully figure it all out."

The team have encountered a range of problems, including issues with the new Renault powertrains and energy recovery system (ERS), along with a rushed build of the RB10 that resulted in them packaging the highly-complex components for this season far too tightly.

That, in turn, has resulted in overheating issues, with parts known to have burned up in the intense heat generated under the chassis.

In a last-ditch bid for track time on Friday, photographs emerged of the car equipped with makeshift vents in the bodywork.

But after just seven laps, all completed in the opening two hours of a wet morning, Red Bull decided they could go no further by lunchtime.

"It's a complex system that's not going to take 24 hours to solve," Ricciardo added.

"Obviously we came here to drive, but also to understand, and I think they've definitely understood things, so let's see what happens in a few weeks.

"It's best now we get some time away from the track and figure out what needs to be done.

"You have to remember the season's not started, we're not losing points by not driving now. We've still time to claw back the track time we've lost."

The second testing stint begins in Bahrain on February 19. Perhaps with a touch of understatement, team principal Christian Horner claimed the test had been "very difficult" but was confident Red Bull would get on top of their troubles.

Horner said: "We have had numerous Renault issues, as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress.

"However, despite the lack of mileage, what we have managed to learn shows the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain.

"Part of the purpose of this early test was to learn about any issues ahead of the start of the season and there will now be a lot of focus on the dyno over the next few weeks."

Race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum has promised a full-on assault from now until the next test.

Damerum said: "The decision was taken to retire early, take the data we have amassed and work towards the next test in Bahrain.

"Two weeks is a long time in Formula One and we, and I'm sure Renault, will work flat out now to solve the problems we've been having."

Ricciardo and Red Bull ultimately ended the day at the bottom of the timesheets with the fewest laps completed.

Their sister team Toro Rosso, who also use Renault engines, fared little better, managing just nine laps in the hands of Daniil Kvyat.

Caterham, the third Renault team at the test, by comparison managed 54 laps with Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel.

Felipe Massa set the fastest time on the final day, with the Brazilian's time of one minute 28.229 seconds on a drying track putting his Williams almost a second clear of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

The Spaniard racked up the most laps on the day, completing 115 in total to put him five clear of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen. The young Dane showed impressive pace to end up fourth-fastest, despite a spin and a crash right at the end of Friday's running.

Daniel Juncadella was third for Force India, while Mercedes enjoyed another productive day. Nico Rosberg completed 91 laps before handing over to Lewis Hamilton to give the Briton more mileage after a crash earlier in the week limited his running. The 2008 world champion completed 41 laps to end the day fifth, with Rosberg eighth.

Jules Bianchi was sixth for Marussia, ahead of Adrian Sutil's Sauber, while Kobayashi was ninth for Caterham, ahead of Kvyat and Ricciardo.


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