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Red Bull updates on schedule despite travel chaos
Red Bull's Spanish Grand Prix preparations will not be affected by the transport chaos caused by volcanic ash closing UK airspace earlier this week.
The team and its cars returned to the UK on Thursday but Christian Horner said that the delay will not have an impact on its planned updates for the next race in just over two weeks' time.
"Thankfully, the way the calendar is with the extra week between the Chinese and Spanish Grand Prix, it has a very limited impact," he said. "There's still over a week to turn the cars around and a lot of the components for the next race are produced here in the factory. The factory hasn't been affected - obviously the turnaround components are a little bit out of sync now coming back two or three days late, but with the additional week, we're confident it won't cause us any major issues."
Horner revealed that he and Mark Webber had taken an extended route to beat the rest of the team back.
"It was a five-stop strategy. Mark Webber and I left the hotel in Shanghai at 4.30am on Sunday morning. We got a 7.15am flight from Shanghai to Dubai on Monday, then went from Dubai to Rome, arriving 8.30pm local time. We got a flight from the other Rome airport to Nice, had a night there, then got a flight early on Tuesday morning to Glasgow. I think we were one of the first aeroplanes to go over British airspace. We landed in Glasgow at 1205hrs on Tuesday, only to find out that Mark had forgotten his passport. After enjoying some local hospitality, we managed to get a helicopter transfer from Glasgow to Oxfordshire; arriving in Oxfordshire at 4.00pm on Tuesday."
He also confirmed that Sebastian Vettel had hitched a lift in Bernie Ecclestone's private jet.
"He was lucky and managed to get a lift with Bernie Ecclestone, who I understand went to Istanbul," said Horner. "Sebastian got another flight from there to Nice and drove home from there - so he got home before all of us early on Tuesday morning. Predictably Bernie beat all of us back. I phoned him from Glasgow, very proud that we'd landed on British soil, only for him to say that he'd already been in the office for three hours."
The rest of the Red Bull team flew straight back to UK from China once British airports were reopened.