It was a disastrous penultimate day of pre-season testing for Red Bull Racing in Bahrain, as a series of technical gremlins meant that Sebastian Vettel failed to complete even a single lap on Saturday.
After an apparent breakthrough on Friday, when Daniel Ricciardo completed 66 laps on his way to third fastest overall, setting the team’s best lap of testing from Bahrain in the process, hopes were high for Sebastian Vettel’s first day at the wheel of the RB10 this week.
However, an electrical issue on the German’s first foray on track saw Red Bull’s much maligned 2014 car grind to a halt after just four corners, bringing a halt to proceedings with a red flag.
A second effort later in the morning proved to be just as fruitless, with Vettel coming to a stop before he had even cleared the pitlane, a scene which provided joy to photographers as the 26-year-old assisted in pushing the broken RB10 back towards the Red Bull garage.
“At the moment we obviously have lots of different problems we are curing,” said Vettel, who made a premature exit from the circuit after the team’s issues proved unfixable in the time available in the session. “It’s not the best situation to be in but we can’t change it.”
“Everybody is extremely motivated to fix it, but it doesn’t happen overnight. We can just hope for a better day tomorrow and then to have a decent start to the season in Melbourne but at this stage obviously reliability is still a big question mark.
“It’s difficult to say how long it will take to remedy. 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.”
Despite the multitude of issues that have plagued Red Bull’s 2014 car throughout the team’s pre-season preparations, Vettel remains adamant that the RB10 itself is not fatally flawed.
“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,” he said.
Red Bull’s Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum added: “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.”
Image courtesy of Red Bull Media/Getty Images