Mark Webber has confessed that expected F1 2010 title protagonist Red Bull Racing needs to find 'a little more reliability' during the final pre-season group test in Barcelona later this week – with conventional wisdom going that points scored early on in the campaign through being around when the chequered flag falls very often pay dividends in the closing stages.
The Adrian Newey-designed, Renault-powered RB6 has undeniably been rapid during testing to-date, in the hands of both Webber and young team-mate and 2009 F1 World Championship runner-up Sebastian Vettel – but it has also appeared somewhat fragile too, with an engine failure and some mechanical issues stymieing the energy drinks-backed outfit's efforts and costing the team valuable track time at Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain last week.
The Australian, however – who lapped comfortably quickest on the third day of the four-day session, almost a second out of reach of anybody else – remains confident that it is nothing the Milton Keynes-based squad cannot resolve in time for the Bahrain Grand Prix curtain-raiser just under three weeks away.
“The weather was a lot kinder to us on the last two days and we learned a hell of a lot, no question about it,” the New South Wales native underlined. “We did a lot of stuff with Renault and also learned about the aerodynamics and the chassis – there were lots of things we kept throwing into the fire and we kept learning, so that was good. We need a nice clear run in Barcelona and a little more reliability there and we're ready to go racing.”
In evidence of the RB6's raw pace, Vettel also easily topped the timesheets, on the opening day and this time in the rain – but the German has been quick to downplay any suggestions that RBR is the team to beat heading towards Sakhir, insisting that it impossible to draw an accurate picture of the likely pecking order just yet.
“It's true we did a couple of good runs, but it's hard to know what fuel loads the others were carrying,” the 22-year-old told the official F1 website. “In Barcelona we expect to improve the car even more – how much we succeed, we will see. I have read that Mercedes and McLaren will bring really big updates, so let's wait and see...”