Red Bull, McLaren brace for difficult Bahrain

Apr.13 (GMM) Red Bull-Renault and McLaren-Honda are bracing for a difficult Bahrain grand prix.

Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko’s frustration boiled over in China on Sunday, declaring to Kleine Zeitung newspaper: “With so many problems, this is hardly motor sport anymore.”

Indeed, it was nothing short of a miserable Shanghai race for the former world champions, as engine partner Renault suffered widespread reliability problems across both the senior Red Bull team as well as the junior squad Toro Rosso.

Afterwards, team boss Christian Horner showed a united front in a joint press briefing with Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul, the Briton insisting: “We have a good relationship with Renault, but a number of fundamental issues need to be addressed.”

Abiteboul, however, warned that with mere days separating China and the next race in Bahrain, a quick fix may not be possible.

Asked what Red Bull will do about it, Horner said: “Close your eyes and hope? What else can we do?”

As for McLaren-Honda and its quest to rise from the back of the field, qualifying and the race in Shanghai did not deliver the promise that earlier practice sessions had.

“We should not be too optimistic,” Fernando Alonso admitted to EFE news agency, “because within days we will be in Bahrain and the car will be much the same as it was here.”

Team boss Eric Boullier, however, was offering slightly more hope, saying new aerodynamic parts and mechanical developments are being added to the MP4-30 “at each grand prix”.

“We have practically a new car at every race,” he is quoted by Speed Week.

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