Date: 3rd March 2014 at 10:20am
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Red Bull Racing are in catch-up mode.

They’ve been on the back foot ever since winter testing began in Jerez, Spain.

Problems with the new hybrid engine from Renault, plus Red Bull’s own packaging problems which caused over heating saw them slip behind most teams in turns of mileage completed.

Whilst Mercedes had completed 1,323km in Spain, Red Bull had completed just 90km. The least mileage run by any team in attendance at the test [Lotus did not run].

At this stage, the other Renault powered teams had also struggled, sister team Toro Rosso for example had only completed 140km more, whilst Caterham achieved a further 94km.

But after the second winter test, the first in Bahrain, the other Renault powered teams began to get an improved idea of their car, while Red Bull continued to struggle.

Caterham completed 1,295km, Toro Rosso 712km, Lotus 568km, while Red Bull ran a slightly improved 594km.

But once again in comparison to Mercedes, they were all lagging behind with the German manufacturer running 1,613km and that wasn’t even the furthest distance run with Williams Mercedes completing 1,654km.

‘I’m very confident we’ll overcome the issues; the question is when and how quickly.’ Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told the BBC mid-way through the third and final test session in Bahrain.

‘We’re trying to go to Melbourne in as good a shape as we can, but we’ve probably covered only about a third of the mileage of some of the other teams, But we’re pushing and we want to catch up as quickly as we can.’

Red Bull Racing had hoped for more from their car from the third and final winter test in Bahrain, however it still wouldn’t come good for Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo completed 20 laps on Friday, 20 more than that of Sebastian Vettel on Saturday, who broke down twice. Once after just four corners and the second time embarrassingly, before it reached the end of the pit-lane.

Sunday saw Vettel complete 77 laps, boosting their mileage to 937km run in the final test session and an overall total of 1,621km.

That overall running for Red Bull was as Horner predicted, a third of the running of Mercedes who completed 4,732km and was even half the distance completed by Caterham Renault.

The lack of mileage and on track testing time was highlighted in the quadruple World Champions fastest lap time.

Vettel’s time of 1minute 37.468 seconds was over four seconds slower than that of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton.

So what can Red Bull realistically achieve in the opening race of the season in Australia?

‘Seeing the chequered flag. That would be a start. But first of all you have to finish and performance-wise, we have a good car.

‘I have every confidence we have a good chassis. We just have to make sure we get the most out of what we have going into Melbourne and develop that in subsequent races.’
Horner added.