What can Red Bull do now?

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    Loup Garou

    Clearly, the pre-season testing was nothing short of disastrous for the reigning WDC and WCC titleholders. With the actual racing season nearly upon them, what more can they do – or more precisely, be allowed to do – to improve their fading chances of retaining either title?

    The reliability issues that affected them throughout the testing appeared to be partly due to the Renault ‘powertrain’ and partly to the car design itself. In reality, it might be a breakdown of a hitherto successful marriage between the two. Even if they identify the causes of their problems, do the rules allow major changes to be made at this stage? After all, Renault have already “submitted” their engine to F1A and I thought as far as the powertrain went, that was that.

    What more options do RBR have?



    If it’s a pure cooling issue then there’s a lot that RBR can do. If the problem is reliability from the Renault PU, then realistically it’s between Renault and the FIA. The engines are homologated now, but there are exceptions which allow for changes to help reliability. We have no idea how much potential power the Renault PU has, since none of the teams have run anywhere near the potential yet, so it’s possible that if they can make tne engine more reliable they can also start to exploit the power potential as well. The RB10 still looks like a really neat little race car, so it’s entirely possible that with just a few small improvements in reliability, it could be right up there. Of course the tight packaging would appear to be a contributing factor for the reliability problems, but frankly Renault should have been able to provide a PU system which would work to the requirements of the team, and certainly plenty of other cars appear very tightly packaged and don’t seem to be suffering the same issues. This is F1 after all, and pushing things to the limit is the name of the game.

    Of course, with the restrictions on power units the teams can use through the season, if they suffer a few failures in the first few races, they may be hobbled by penalties later in the season, even if Renault can get it all working properly.



    RBR will pull themselves together eventually.
    Still hoping for Ferrari or Mercedes to win it though.



    I think there was a clause in the regulations that allow for changes made on the grounds of safety, reliability, or cost-cutting. That’s my understanding of it, but someone who’s better versed in the regs should be able to clarify.

    Really, it just comes down to how long it is before they’re able to produce a race-winning car: even the McLaren MP4-24 disaster of 2009 was winning races and podiums after the mid-point of the season. If RBR are able to get around the issues within the first few races, I can see them being contenders (ironically as underdogs). If they can’t get a handle on it by the mid-season break, then I wouldn’t rule them out of race wins, but we can likely rule a WDC/WCC as highly improbable at that point.




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