Sunday, Apr 19, 2015Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Motor racing: Red Bull two months behind rivals, says former champ Hakkinen

Published on Mar 14, 2014 4:24 PM

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Red Bull's abysmal winter testing has left them badly lagging behind their Formula One rivals and they will need at least two months to get their cars performing at optimal level, according to double world champion Mika Hakkinen.

Red Bull have admitted they are playing catch-up ahead of Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, after struggling to come to grips with the new turbo-charged hybrid engine during the pre-season tests.

Finn Hakkinen, who won back-to-back titles in 1998-99 with McLaren, would not discount Sebastian Vettel's chances of winning a fifth consecutive championship for Red Bull but said the constructors' champions were up against it.

"You saw in the testing they weren't able to do enough running," he told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!