A former Red Bull engineer has predicted that there could well be an adverse reaction if it transpires that the fuel pumps are what caused the team’s double retirement at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez looked set to end the 2022 season-opener second and fourth respectively, but a mechanical failure for the Dutchman put him out of the race following a late Safety Car.
Perez suffered a terminal problem shortly after, enabling a 1-2 finish for Ferrari and a podium finish for Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Team principal Christian Horner confirmed after the race that the issue that put the 24-year-old out of the race was unrelated to the “heavy” steering wheel likely caused when the car hit the ground following his final pit stop.
“[The two issues were] totally disconnected, the steering issue was when the car got dropped after the final stop,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s tweaked a track rod, so that’s why [the steering] was slightly different left to right.”
He also indicated that the failures on both cars were related to each other.
“What looked like a decent haul of points suddenly evaporated obviously in the last couple of laps there but it looks like a similar issue on both cars, [we] don’t know exactly what it is yet, whether it’s a lift pump, whether it’s a collector or something along those lines but we’ve got to get into it and understand exactly what’s caused it.”
If the fuel pump was the fundamental cause of the problems, then a former Red Bull engineer, who worked in F1 for six years, has predicted this will cause quite the storm, as these are issued as standard.
“Ready for this one?” he tweeted.
“If both Red Bull failures are the fuel pump, then get ready for fireworks. The fuel pump is a standard part supplied to all teams by the FIA and Magneti Marelli.”
Whatever the issue, Red Bull now have a few days to understand and resolve it before the cars head back out onto the circuit in Saudi Arabia this coming weekend.