Motor

Struggling Red Bull calls it quits on third day of Formula One test

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JEREZ, Spain (AP)

Engine trouble limited Red Bull's new car to just a handful of laps for the third day of the Formula One preseason, with newcomer Daniel Ricciardo sputtering to a halt seconds into his debut with the defending world champions.

Ricciardo only made it halfway around the Jerez track before his RB10 rolled to a stop and began spouting smoke from the back.

After team mechanics tended to the car, Ricciardo went back out for a mere two trips around the circuit before calling it quits.

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That gives Red Bull a measly total of 14 laps through the first three days of testing, which ends on Friday.

Fernando Alonso's new Ferrari also stopped after 26 laps just before the Ayrton Senna chicane. His Spanish fans cheered him on from the stands as he was ferried back to the pitlane.

But after a quick fix in the garage, Alonso was back out and adding up the laps.

Ricciardo was debuting for Red Bull after four-time defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel was limited to just 11 laps over the first two sessions.

Vettel's run on day two was cut short when engine-maker Renault reported a malfunction in Red Bull's motor. The Austrian team said that "similar issues" still plagued their new vehicle.

"The measures we took only partially solved the issue," Red Bull's engineer Andy Damerum said. "And, as with yesterday, it's more sensible to stop and dig deeper into finding a solution. It's obviously not where we want to be and naturally the whole team is frustrated."

All teams are struggling to get their cars ready after F1 made a sweeping revision of the rulebook that included a shift to a turbo engine and integrating more sophisticated energy recovery systems.

But, so far at least, it appears traditional contenders Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren are dealing better with the new regulations that the titleholders.

Testing concludes in southern Spain on Friday, followed by two more tests in Bahrain. The season opens with the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

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