Renault has confirmed that a software issue was the reason behind Sebastian Vettel’s poor qualifying performance at the Australian Grand Prix.

The software issue meant Vettel suffered a lack of power, with Vettel stating that the issue had been lingering since FP3.

“This morning was still OK but definitely a step down, and then this afternoon when it started to rain I was struggling a lot with driveability and it made my life pretty difficult,” said Vettel.

The reigning champion has had his work cut out for him since the get go of 2014, with the team struggling to get to grips with the new V6 power units in pre-season testing.

“There was a different set-up and a software update, but with modern Formula 1 there’s a lot of software programming and it’s not easy for drivers to understand what’s going on.”

Red Bull’s progress has taken a massive step forward since Bahrain – as was evidenced by teammate Daniel Ricciardo qualifying a sensational second-fastest – however, Vettel remains cautious ahead of today’s race, as reliability remains a concern for all teams.

“We still haven’t done a race simulation or a race distance in one go,” he said. “I think we have improved reliability compared to testing because we’re able to put parts on the car with zero mileage. But there’s still a long way to go.”

The 2014 Australian Grand Prix will start at 5:00pm local time (GMT +11).

image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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