Jan.31 (GMM) The grey drizzle matched the mood in the Red Bull garage on Friday morning, but Daniel Ricciardo was his ever upbeat self.
Asked if the troubled RB10 will be running on the last day of the opening test of 2014, he answered: “I hope so.”
Actually, he did less than 10 laps before the reigning world champions, caught deep in an early-season crisis along with engine supplier Renault, called it a day.
“All focus now shifts to Bahrain,” said the team.
“We have two weeks until the next test so time’s on our side.”
That is an optimistic view, after a nightmarish four-day tally of just 21 laps. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg did almost 100 before lunch on Friday alone, as the Brackley team got stuck into a race simulation.
Mercedes’ four-day tally is 270 laps and counting, with Lewis Hamilton set to complete the running in the reliable W05.
Red Bull, in total and utter contrast, are struggling to get Adrian Newey’s extreme packaging working at all with the higher cooling demands of the all-new turbo and ERS-powered Renault V6.
Quite simply, the car cannot keep the crucial ‘power unit’ cool enough. Burn marks were visible on the side of the Red Bull on Friday, followed by some hasty work by the mechanics to cut holes in the bodywork.
Compounding Red Bull’s misery, other key rivals Ferrari and McLaren are also looking reliable, both teams racking up about 70 laps apiece by lunchtime.