|© Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Alternator nightmares returned to haunt Red Bull at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, although the team breathed a huge sigh of relief as it affected Mark Webber’s car rather than affecting title contender Sebastian Vettel's race.
Earlier in the season at Valencia and Italy, Vettel had to retire from the two races after a similar problem occurred with the same component suggesting that the defending champion wasn’t bulletproof going into the final Grand Prix of the season this weekend.
"Reliability is a concern, it's unfortunately our third alternator failure this year which is a ticking time bomb," Red Bull's chief technical officer Adrian Newey told Sky television.
"You never know when that one is going to strike. Renault haven't managed to find a proper solution to that one so that's a continual worry in the back of our minds as is the rest of the reliability.
"The cars are very complicated and keeping them going around is anything but guaranteed," the Briton added.
However, as the issues emerged earlier in the season Red Bull should be prepared enough for next week.
“We had low battery voltage for a few laps before and then I lost gearbox sync and KERS, something was happening on the battery side,” Webber explained after his race ended prematurely at the Circuit of The Americas. “It’s frustrating.
“We had issues to manage, but even when I knew we had them we tried to keep going and get something out of it, but we had to stop,” said the Australian driver.