Red Bull Racing had more mechanical issues during the two days of the in-season test in Spain. Test driver Sebastien Buemi saw his day ended early when his car developed a gearbox issue, which also delayed Sebastian Vettel’s start on Wednesday as the team continue to fix it.
Buemi was having his first day in the 2014 car having spent a lot of time in the simulator. The team wanted to make sure that the simulator and the car were correlated properly.
“It was the first day for me in the RB10 and I experienced a bit of dry and a bit of wet, which was good,” said Buemi. “We mainly concentrated on trying to understand the car better after the weekend and trying to improve it. We also worked on some correlation with the simulator, as I spend a lot of time in that.
“We had a gearbox problem, which stopped us, but otherwise it was a decent day. As ever, it was really about gathering data. We don’t get many opportunities for this type of testing so it’s important to get as much information as possible.”
For World Champion Vettel, a delayed start while the team continued to fix the car was soon forgotten as he got down to business in the afternoon, running 72 laps and finishing seventh fastest.
“The problems of yesterday made us a bit late out this morning but the afternoon was productive and we did a lot of laps which, considering the time we had, was good,” said Vettel. “We used the tyres that we used last weekend, as we want to try to understand the car more and in terms of that I think we have learned a lot, so I would say it was a useful, if not perfect, day.”
Red Bull Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum admitted the weather got in the way on Tuesday, and the issue with the gearbox cost both Buemi and Vettel much needed track time.
“We were in a good place first thing [Tuesday] morning with the car all set to run, but unfortunately the weather got in the way a bit,” said Damerum. “We moved things around on the schedule and managed to get what I’d called a lot of ‘stocking filler’ jobs done, but we really would have preferred dry running.
“We had Sebastien Buemi in the car today and he spends quite a bit of time in the simulator, so we wanted to give him a proper feel for the new car and do some correlation work to make sure that what’s happening in the simulator and what’s happening on the track is the same. We were able to do quite a bit of work in that area when the weather improved, which was good.
“We were also running a lot of other test items today, all of which are aimed at improving the package as a whole, so what with the weather it was quite a complex day. It was then made more complicated by the mechanical failure, which prevented us doing any more running.
“It’s obviously not ideal to have a problem that costs you time on both days, but the problem we had was such that it needed a lot of time to fix overnight and getting the car ready delayed our start this morning. We managed to get a couple of runs in before lunch, just to get Sebastian comfortable in the car, but it wasn’t giving him what he wanted so we tweaked a few things over the lunch break. Then in the afternoon we had a pretty productive run.
“In the limited time we had today I have to say that, from a race engineer’s perspective, there was a lot to take away from the work we did. So, all told – a fairly decent couple of days.”