The FIA’s ‘engine maps’ clampdown has not cost Red Bull even a single tenth, according to the team’s engine supplier Renault.
After crossing the finish line in second place just a week ago at Hockenheim – where the reigning champions were using the now-outlawed settings – Sebastian Vettel’s practice best in Hungary on Friday was good enough only for eighth. And teammate Mark Webber, in the sister RB8, was buried down the timesheets.
“We’ve got work to do,” said the Australian. “I’m not super happy.”
Engine supplier Renault’s trackside operations chief Remi Taffin, however, played down suggestions Red Bull’s struggle is the direct result of Vettel and Webber no longer enjoying the software ‘gizmos’ they had a week ago.
“It’s very difficult to quantify,” said the Frenchman, “but we’re talking about hundredths (of seconds lost) and not at all about seconds or tenths.”
German Vettel, too, was careful not to blame his Friday performance on a hobbled car, insisting a good result on Sunday is still possible.
“If you would know what is going on in the background then you would not be too interested in all the talking and stuff that has been printed in the last few days,” he is quoted by the Independent. “Fortunately tomorrow (Saturday) there is a new newspaper, and after tomorrow again, and especially on Monday, so we focus on the race here and then try to make some good news for Monday’s paper.”