Formula 1 26 Feb 2007 10:10 am

Red Bull still struggling as F1 testing moves to Bahrain

Most of the F1 teams moved to Bahrain last week to continue pre-season testing. The first Barhrain test ran from 22 Feb to 24 Feb. (Further testing takes place this week.)

Sadly, after the unexplained burst of speed in the last European test (see here), the red Bull Racing team has slipped back to its more accustomed position in the second half of the time sheets.

I’ve updated my testing analysis (comparing RBR’s testing times against class-of-the-field McLaren and RBR-engine-provider Renault). Click on the thumbnail to see the chart.

testing1.png

The analysis shows:

* RBR continues to be about 2% slower than McLaren (if this form continues into the race season, RBR will be lapped by McLaren at virtually every race)
* RBR is slowly catching up to Renault, but is still nearly 1% slower
* RBR has managed less than two-thirds as many testing laps as either McLaren or Renault (fewer laps means less time on track to tweak the car for ultimate speed).

RBR driver David Coulthard has stated that, based on form to date, “At the moment we’re not going to achieve the goals I had for the year. But we’ve got some more time to develop and hopefully, once we’ve done that, we can try and achieve them.” – see this article. Translation: “The car is too slow.”

It’s looking like another challenging (disappointing) year for Mark Webber. So let’s open the books on Webber’s seat in 2008. I still reckon there’s a chance that Mark Webber will partner Heikki Kovaleinen at Renault next year.

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