Red Bull: Vettel’s chassis not distorted

The Formula One team deny reports that Sebastian Vettel’s early struggles are due to his car having a crooked chassis.

Vettel has been outperformed by his new Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo [AFP]
Vettel has been outperformed by his new Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo [AFP]

The chassis used by Sebastian Vettel in the first four races of 2014 was bent, according to German media reports – something that Red Bull deny.

The 26-year-old German was given a ‘new’ chassis for last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and charged to fourth despite starting 15th following a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

“The ‘old’ chassis has not been found to be distorted,”  chief engineer Paul Monaghan said in response to a query.

“The investigation is ongoing as the extent of the checks is vast in order to be thorough. No one error can be considered an entire explanation and requires further work to that completed prior to and within the Spanish Grand Prix,” Monaghan added.

“Once all the information is available, Red Bull will address the points found in order to implement a complete solution.”

Playing catch-up

Vettel, winner of the last four championships and the final nine races of 2013, has been fighting more for points than podiums so far this year.

The German complained of a lack of ‘feel’ from the car as Formula One entered a new V6 turbo hybrid era after ditching the old V8 engines.

However, Vettel has also been outperformed by his new Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who started and finished third in Spain and was disqualified from second in Australia.

Team principal Christian Horner said after the last race that it looked like the Vettel of old was returning, however.

“This weekend you could see in the race the recovery drive that he had, the fastest lap, he hunted down the Ferraris. It looked like he had got his mojo back,” the Briton told reporters.

Source: Reuters

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