On the final day of Red Bull Racing’s first test of 2012, Sebastian Vettel managed the day’s third fastest lap, despite losing the morning session due to an engine related electrical issue with his RB8.
The defending world champion had completed just two installation laps in the morning when the problem occurred. The relevant part was replaced, but concern that the issue may have caused damage to the engine, led to a precautionary engine change ahead of the afternoon.
Vettel got running again shortly after lunch and then put in 48 untroubled laps to bring the team’s opening test to a close and, despite the shortened second day in the car, Sebastian left the track encouraged by the weeks’ work.
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made, I think we managed to get a lot done,” he said. “Of course, this morning was a bit of a setback but these things happen.
“Something like this is simply part of testing, this is the reason why we are here,” he added. “Of course we would like to get more laps done, but that can't be changed now. So we go back to the factory, look at everything we have learned from this week and prepare for the next test in Barcelona, where I’m looking forward to putting some more miles on the car.”
Head of Race Engineering Ian Morgan added: “It was frustrating to lose those hours in the morning as we had a lot to get through, but when Seb did get out, we made a pretty good recovery and we actually managed to get almost everything done.”
Commenting on the four days in Jerez, Morgan said: “It’s been quite encouraging. We are where we expected to be, based on the data we had from the factory. That’s good for later in the season as if you’ve got good trust in the tools at your disposal at home it makes development work on the car a lot easier.
“In terms of the problems we had today, well, all I can say is it is part and parcel of testing. You take a complex car and put it on the track for the first time and it only takes one small thing to go wrong to upset your programme. We’ll ship the car home in one piece now, take a look at everything, pull it apart and then rebuild it for the next test in Barcelona. But, all in all, a very positive week here I think.”
Best time: 1.19.606
Circuit length: 4.428km
Fastest lap: F. Alonso (1.18.877)