‘Intense couple of weeks’ await Red Bull


Although pre-season testing has concluded, the work is not over with Red Bull’s Guillaume Rocquelin saying the team faces an “intense couple of weeks” in the build-up to Melbourne.

Red Bull wrapped up pre-season testing on Friday, calling it quits at 6pm along with their rivals.

The Renault-powered team completed 684 laps over the eight days, bringing their tally to 3184km. That, however, was well off the 1096 laps and 5102kms covered by Mercedes.

The work, though, is by no means over according to Red Bull’s head of race engineering, Rocquelin.

“In terms of the tests as a whole, broadly speaking we’ve achieved what we wanted to do,” he told F1i.com.

“We wanted to get some longer runs done. It was worth sacrificing a bit of time to make sure the car would run smoothly.

“There were a few niggles but that’s always the case with a new car and we knew how to manage those situations.

“We’ll now have a pretty intense couple of weeks before Melbourne – as every team will – digesting all the information, putting permanent fixes in place for the issues we found, and working on a plan of attack for the first race.”

Both Red Bull drivers completed pre-season testing inside the top ten on the overall timesheets with Max Verstappen best placed in sixth place.

The Dutchman’s fastest lap time, a 1:19.438, was eighth-tenths shy of Kimi Raikkonen’s pace-setting time.

“Do I think we can be competitive?” Rocquelin added. “I think so.

“We’re happy with the balance and happy with the performance.

“Some teams put in some impressive lap times but there are so many parameters at play in testing that it’s extremely difficult to form a really clear picture of where everyone is.”