Red Bull endured one of its toughest races in some time in Malaysia as Dany Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo finished only ninth and 10th, behind both Toro Rosso drivers.
Both RBR suffered with brake problems from an early stage, while Ricciardo was also compromised by aerodynamic damage. Team boss Christian Horner admitted that the team has a lot of work to do in order to get on top of the brake problem.
“Daniel damaged the front wing in the first turn touching the back of Nico,” said Horner. “The first couple of laps seemed to be settling down, seemed to be pulling away. Dany Kvyat ran wide into the first turn but again was recovering quite nicely. Then the safety car came out. We pitted both cars, and we effectively made a place because we jumped Rosberg with Ricciardo and we didn’t drop any places with Kvyat.
“But then as soon as we started to run into traffic temperatures started to get out of control, particularly the brakes. Then we really didn’t have any pace. We were trying to manage our way through the second half of the race to make sure we got to the end.”
Horner said the brake problem was not just down the high temperatures, thus implying that there are more fundamental issues.
“I think it was a contributing factor, I don’t think it was all of the issue. So I think we need to go away and understand some of the issues of the weekend and make sure we address them, hopefully in time for China.
“We changed brake supplier this year. We just need to understand how we got into the situation we have, and engineer our way out of it.
“They’ve been tricky to manage all weekend, but I think it took us by surprise that we got into as much issue as we did, especially when we were in dirty air. But we need to learn from that and do a better job in China.”
Horner said it was too early to tell whether the brake issue had in turn given the tyres a harder time.
“I think the honest answer at this stage is we don’t really know. We saw quite high deg, and here you could see there was quite a lot of brake dust coming out early on, and we were concerned at one stage that we wouldn’t get to the end of the race. It was a question of damage limitation, manage our way to the end of the race. To be honest with you at know point did we have any real pace this afternoon.”