|© Paul Gilham/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Red Bull has shown little of the confidence that would be expected from a team that has won the last three constructors' championships.
Much of its concerns revolve around the new Pirelli tyres which are degrading quicker than last season. The problem has plagued Red Bull more than other teams, and it blamed the tyres for Sebastian Vettel's third in Australia.
After practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the triple champion said that the durability of the tyres were a “quite a mess”.
"It doesn't look very nice I would say. I hope we have enough tyres to survive the race,” he was quoted saying by Autosport. "It is not a lot of fun and that is how it is."
The severity of the wear affected teammate Mark Webber as well.
"The whole category is geared around tyres at the moment," the Australian said. "Everything is around tyres. Tyres, tyres, tyre, tyres, tyres..."
Webber quipped that the damp conditions during the second practice session on Friday "the only conditions (the slicks) work in"
It had hoped the warmer conditions would help solve the problem but tyres shredded quicker than expected during practice. As a result, Red Bull would likely have to fall back on a three or even four-stop strategy while other teams like Lotus may be able to get by with two stops as they did in Australia.
"We're trying to understand what is going on and what is the sweet spot for these tyres," team principal Christian Horner said.
"I don't think anybody up and down this pit lane fully understands these tyres to be honest. There are so many anomalies that a key aspect to this season will be getting on top of those tyre issues and understanding them."
With AP inputs