Formula One’s Flying Dutchman Max Verstappen maintains his optimism about Renault’s reliability as Melbourne draws closer.
Though Red Bull has had the fortune to not suffer issues like those that have beset Honda and McLaren, they have still had their share of problems to scrap with during the pre-season tests at Barcelona.
Red Bull’s RB13 took a time out in the pits for an engine change late in the day before it seized up out on the track at near the end of the test. The issues that plagued Red Bull are also afflicting their sister team, Toro Rosso – and they both seem to revolve around an issue with the MGU-K.
While this may seem like a perfect opportunity for the anti-hybrid haters to come out of the woodworks, pointing to the inclusion of a hybrid turbocharger as the issue, Verstappen remains convinced that Renault is already handling the matter:
“We were two laps short of a race distance. 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.”
– Max Verstappen
Even with the issue that condemned the car to shut down early, Verstappen still managed to turn out a solid performance as he became the first driver to break through the triple digits in lap counts. Though for Verstappen it appears that the biggest issue he is suffering from is boredom:
“[On being asked how the test went] Good. Long. You are on your own and it is pretty boring.
I think everything felt well, the car was behaving pretty well with degradation, pretty smooth.” – Max Verstappen
With Ferrari being dubbed as the early looking leaders, Red Bull has to be careful that the pre-season predictions don’t have them at at the opening race as the third favourites. Something tells us that they’ve not shown their true pace just yet.