The Red Bull Formula 1 team has reverted from Hitco brakes to the Brembo specification it used in 2014 after its troubled Malaysian Grand Prix.
Overheating front brakes were the primary factor in Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo struggling to ninth and 10th in the Sepang F1 race two weeks ago.
“Obviously, we’re experimenting with a few things but for now we’re going to go back to what we know, to get the basics right,” Ricciardo told reporters at Shanghai on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Chinese GP. “The main points from Malaysia were that we had a lot of brake issues and overheating at the front of the car. So we’ve reverted back on quite a few things and even to stuff from last year, which we knew was more efficient. It’s obviously older, but it doesn’t mean it’s not better.”
Kvyat said returning to Brembos would change the braking feel but would not make too much difference to performance.
“They do feel different in how you press them. But it’s not a massive difference,” he said. “Sometimes you get a little bit more deceleration in one place or another. But the concept of the brakes is quite similar.”
Although Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr finished ahead of the senior team’s cars in Malaysia, Ricciardo believes that was more a consequence of Red Bull’s specific problems than a change in the pecking order.
“I think with a weekend going the way it should for us, we should be back in front of Toro Rosso,” he said. “In Malaysia we had quite a few other problems limiting some performance for us, but we’ve rectified all of that for this weekend and have a few aero updates that should hopefully see us back in a more competitive proposition.
“The wind tunnel always pulls out some nice numbers, so let’s see what it does on track; but the team’s obviously done quite a lot since Malaysia to rectify some issues and get us further up the grid.”