Date: 21st March 2014 at 9:01am
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Despite coming away from Australia without a point, Red Bull Racing have to have taken some positives from the race.

Their pre-season winter testing programme was a disaster for the four-time Formula One World Champions.

They suffered with both reliability and performance in all three winter test sessions in Spain and Bahrain and arrived for the opening round of the Formula One World Championship season in damage limitation mode.

But the latest updates and upgrades worked for Red Bull and their performance and reliability improved throughout the weekend….

…..well it did for Aussie favourite Daniel Ricciardo, four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel retired after just five laps.

They might not have had the pace of Mercedes, but in comparison to the other teams Red Bull competed well, with the Australian finishing second before his late disqualification on Sunday night.

‘What’s encouraging is compared to the rest of the field [excluding Mercedes], we well exceeded our expectations.

‘To be racing McLaren’s and Ferrari’s after the pre-season that we’ve had; by the 20th lap we were into new territory in terms of distance completed by the car.’
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports after the Australian Grand Prix.

Of course with Red Bull found to be breaking FIA rules on fuel flow, its now up for debate just how strong their run really was.

It was clear the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen slowed during the final part of the race to make sure that they didn’t break fuel regulations.

If Red Bull had run within the rules like they had been requested during the race by the FIA would they have stayed ahead of the McLaren?

We’ll never know.

But what we do know is the Red Bull isn’t quite the lame duck we thought it might have been during winter testing and with Red Bull Racing narrowing down the problems it might not be long before they are once again at the front challenging Mercedes.

‘Ninety per cent of the issues are software-related – how the energy recovery system is working with the [Renualt] combustion engine, We’re tremendously restricted in the driveability of the car – how the torque is delivered – which obviously affects straightline speeds.

‘I think there is room for an awful lot of improvement, but it’s working between the engineers in Milton Keynes [Red Bull factory] and Viry-Chatillon [Renault base] to make sure we get the most out of it.’