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Red Bull confirms Ricciardo crash

NEWS STORY
20/02/2018

Red Bull has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo crashed the RB14 on its track debut at Silverstone yesterday.

The Australian went off in the difficult conditions and hit the barriers. Though the accident was at low speed, the RB14 incurred damage to its nose, front wing, floor and suspension.

The Milton Keynes based outfit will now need to work to ensure that the requisite spare parts are ready for when pre-season testing gets underway at Barcelona next Monday.

Despite the off, which brought the filming day to a premature end, Ricciardo was enthusiastic, both about the RB14 and the Halo device.

"It's always hard to tell from a few laps," he admitted, "but the initial feeling is good. It's not doing anything that scares me and I can already feel that the rear of the car feels pretty settled, even in these poor conditions. Those are encouraging early signs.

"I can see fine," he said of the Halo. "Before today I'd only done a couple of installs with it, so it was pretty new - but I really didn't notice it was there.

"Honestly, unless there's (trackside signage) above, I don't see any issues at all on a flat track. It is a bit awkward to jump in and out - I'm probably going to pull an adductor! - but it's OK. A small challenge but we'll get over it.

The pattern of the last few years for Red Bull has been to launch 'aggressively late'. This has allowed the design department the maximum amount of time to add "goodness" to the car before the cut-off point at which the design is frozen and a launch car produced. It's been not uncommon to have the car finished, fired up for the first time and shipped to Spain for the start of testing all on the same day.

It serves a purpose, says the Austrian team, but you wouldn't do it if you didn't have to, and this year it didn't have to.

"It's preferable to finish the car early and deal with any snags now, when the car is on a track a short drive from the factory, rather than use up one of the eight ultra-precious pre-season test days doing the same at the Circuit de Catalunya.

As usual with a brand-new car, the programme was characterised by short runs with plenty of inspection and analysis time between - but the RB14 didn't supply any nasty surprises.

"Obviously, it's been a long day trying to get everything going but a lot better to have that here than in Barcelona," concluded Ricciardo. "Doesn't mean we won't have anything in Barcelona but it's nice to know we've got some of the initial challenges out of the way."

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