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A quiet day in Jerez for world champs Red Bull

Jan 28, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

Sebastian Vettel AP

Reigning Formula One World Champions Red Bull couldn’t avoid the equipment issues that were prevalent during today’s opening day of testing at Jerez, with Sebastian Vettel only able to run three laps in the closing moments.

According to the team, a gearbox issue on their brand-new, Renault-powered RB10 set back their admittedly limited plans for the day. As rain emerged for the final half-hour of testing, Vettel was finally able to get out for an installation lap before turning a couple more on the Pirelli intermediate tires.

“It was difficult to get an impression of what the new car is like,” Vettel told reporters at Jerez, per CNN. “We weren’t quite ready this morning and things took a little bit longer than expected. It was impossible to get a feeling for it today.”

Meanwhile, as the teams trudged through a slow day in Spain, Red Bull designer Adrian Newey – a major part of the team’s four-year reign atop F1 – fretted over the 2014 cars’ radical new nose designs.

In addition to noting their controversial looks, Newey was worried they could pose a safety issue even though they were lowered for 2014 in a bid to reduce scenarios such as a car going airborne in a rear-impact incident.

“I am concerned the opposite may happen and if you hit the back of a car square on, you go underneath and have a rear crash structure in your face,” he said to reporters according to the BBC’s Andrew Benson.

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