Red Bull’s pre-season F1 testing did not go well, at all. So poorly in fact that the four-time world champions recently asked their junior program, Scuderia Toro Rosso, for assistance. The reason? The champs need help troubleshooting the car’s new “brake by wire” systems.

Teams with the technical support that Red Bull possess wouldn’t normally get caught up by small glitches such as this, but sources within the F1 community say that this event sheds light upon the size of Red Bull’s other issues.

Red Bull consultant Dr. Helmut Marko described extreme turbo-lag as one of the team’s major pains going into the season opener. “You step on the gas but the power comes all of a sudden, the wheels spin, the car slides, and you lose speed.” 

Sebastian Vettel ran a strong PR campaign at the beginning of testing, most notably proposing that due to poor initial reliability, there was no way to know that Red Bull wasn’t already the fastest car on the grid. The attitude has quickly spiraled downward, however. “If half the drivers fail to finish, then maybe we could take a few points, “ said Vettel in a recent interview.

Tune in on March 16 for the start of the 2014 F1 season in Melbourne.

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[via Autoweek]