Two days of testing, 11 laps completed. It’s probably not the start to 2014 he had in mind, but for now at least, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is hiding any concern well. Horner knows the calibre of his team and his drivers – including new arrival Daniel Ricciardo – but there is one big unknown in their new RB10 car: a hybrid, V6 turbo power unit. We caught up with Horner in Jerez to find out why he believes Renault will be critical to Red Bull’s success in 2014 – a season in which he says power units, and in particular their reliability, will be decisive…
Q: Christian, what does it mean missing almost two days’ running at such an important test?
Christian Horner: It means that we have 10 days instead of 12. That’s the mathematical situation. And looking at how many laps others have done over these two days, I would say that we are pretty much sitting in the same boat, as it doesn’t make so much difference having done 12 or 60 laps. That rather marginal difference will not break the camel’s back.
Q: But how frustrating is it not really getting anywhere here in Spain, knowing that the next two tests are in Bahrain which – unlike Jerez – is quite a distance from all the factories?
CH: Well, to be honest this Jerez test was always meant as an engine verification test in terms of sorting out some of the mapping issues. In reality it’s to get the power units going. Our expectations coming into this test are purely system checks – the proper testing will be in Bahrain.