Further problems with the Renault power unit for Red Bull Racing, during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Wednesday, are not cause for concern according to driver Max Verstappen.
Failures believed to concern the MGU-K, occurred twice on day two of testing as well as day six for Red Bull, and both occasions left Verstappen side-lined to the garage, missing out on valuable track time, for a number of hours.
On Wednesday, an engine change again kept the Dutchman out of action for a considerable duration, before he was able to return to track. But then, having recovered from the earlier stoppage and moved on to full race simulations, the RB13 came to a halt out on circuit, just two laps shy of a complete run, and with only minutes to go until the day six session came to its planned end.
Verstappen is remaining upbeat however, and has stated that Renault have already been able to pinpoint the cause of the failures, and have amendments coming in for their Australia spec engine.
“We were two laps short of a race distance. We got a lot of data.
“Unfortunately we had to stop, similar issues that made us stop this morning – but I’m quite confident, because the Renault boys already have some plans to change that for Melbourne anyway, so it should be all right.
“They are on top of it now. We have solutions in place for the future.”
When the Dutchman has been able to get in some running, he has been happy with the way the RB13 is handling, and his feedback on the almost completed race simulation was positive.
“It race run was good. Long. You are on your own and is pretty boring.
“I think everything felt well, the car was behaving pretty well with degradation, pretty smooth.”
The 19-year-old is confident Red Bull will be one of the main contenders challenging for the title in 2017, in what looks set to be a close battle at the top of the order.
“The good thing is that nobody has two seconds in their pocket. We’ll see.
“It’s really difficult to say because you don’t know how much fuel the other guys are running and the cars are still pretty new so you’re doing a lot of set-up changes and suddenly you find the right one.
“We haven’t tested all the available options in terms of setting up the car – but so far everything is going pretty well.”