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Horner: Still on back foot

Manama: Formula One champions Red Bull recognised on Saturday they were well behind rivals in pre-season testing but dismissed reports that Sebastian Vettel had “thrown a hissy fit” about the situation.

Four-time champion Vettel and his team have suffered a string of setbacks due to the new Renault power unit and the problems continued in Bahrain on Saturday with the German breaking down on his first lap of the day.

Vettel’s new Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo, preparing for a home season-opener in Melbourne on March 16, said on Thursday the team was still “not up to scratch” with time running out.

Ricciardo had a more positive day on Friday but Saturday brought more gloom and team principal Christian Horner said the team was “still definitely on the back foot. “This is the 10th day of testing and we are about 10 days behind I reckon,” he added.

Horner said cooling issues that had sidelined the team during the first team in Jerez, Spain, had been addressed and Red Bull were working hard with Renault to fix other problems that had emerged.

“We still have another two weeks before Melbourne, for sure we will be bringing more parts to Melbourne. It would just be great if we could have another couple of days like we had yesterday.”