The information coming from day two in the Bahrain test is certainly up and down or side to side to say the least. If you’re Renault Sport F1, engine suppliers to Red Bull, Caterham and Lotus, you’re telling the press that your engine is good to go the distance and is ready for any distance the teams wish to test.

If you’re Red Bull, you have issues that seem to crop up after solving the previous issue, according to Sebastian Vettel. If you’re Caterham F1’s Kamui Kobayashi, you’re calling a spade a spade..or, perhaps a shovel:

“At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car. Kobayashi told AUTOSPORT.

“So we are waiting for the engine system.

“During testing, we meet some other cars and clearly we can see the Mercedes cars are much quicker in the straights, 20-30km/h more and it would mean different braking points, everything, if we had proper power.

“We will see what we can do in a short time. At the moment, we are definitely quite late.”

Kamui feels the engine is behind in development with Mercedes and Ferrari and if you were looking for a stall in the meteoric flight of Red Bull’s domination, you may be licking your lips at this point in the pre-season testing.

If you’re a Red Bull fan, then you should know that Renault Sport F1 is not about to sit still and neither will Red Bull. They will most likely get on top of the issues but when and how remains to be seen.

If you’re a Caterham F1 fan, then you could take solace in the thought that your engine peer will do a lot of heavy lifting to get your engine sorted for you because that’s how Red Bull works and they have the resources and clout to get the engine issues rectified quickly. You could also have concerns as the last thing Caterham F1 needed was a recalcitrant engine given their edict from team owner tony Fernandes that this year is it…put up or shut down.

Kobayashi ran 66 laps which was the most of any Renault-powered car and it will be interesting to see if they can get on top of the power issues on corner exit as he discusses in the AUTOSPORT article.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Tom

    It starts to look as if Renault really has some major issues…maybe it’s all just a matter of polishing the software and improving cooling and rearranging some pipes, but maybe the problems are deeper seeded. Correct me if I’m wrong, but AFAIK, homologation of the engines takes place soon, so any problems that are down to the construction of the engine will be with Renault till the end of the season. Personally, I wouldn’t have thought that one manufacturer would be that far behind…20-30 km/h, that is massive if it should persist. Particularly since there were very positive rumors coming from Renault about their turbo engines last season (unlike Ferrari who were rumored to have problems).

    On a different note, maybe you and Paul were absolutely correct when you played with the thought that Hülkenberg’s move to Force India was the best move after all for him. Also, Maldonado might look stupid if the Williams cars end up driving circles around him.

  • gsprings

    I remember back around 1983, my brother stopping to give a college girl a lift when her Renault fuego turbo broke down,the car looked like it was brand new,talking about these Renault turbo engines makes me think about that,anyways, I think red bull will be right there at the front , or near the front when the first race starts