THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

It’s now or never for Red Bull Racing’s title challenge

FORMULA ONE: If this is what Red Bull Racing’s return to championship contention looks like, it’s far from convincing.

Formula-One
By Michael Lamonato

Friday 25 May 2018, 09:37AM


Daniel Ricciardo drives during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 8. Photo: Dan Istitene / Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo drives during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 8. Photo: Dan Istitene / Getty Images

The once all-powerful energy drinks-backed team has been a shadow of its title-winning self for more than four seasons, proclaiming all the while that it is a winner in exile, a sleeping giant waiting to be awoken.

But the cold, hard stats paint a darker picture. Since claiming its last title in 2013 Red Bull Racing has won just nine times. Mercedes, for the record, has won 65 races in the same time span.

Circumstance has of course had a hand in the team’s fall. Red Bull Racing, an independent chassis builder, relies on Renault for engines, and despite the French manufacturer powering the team to all four of its constructors titles in the V8 era, it has struggled with today’s turbo-hybrid technology.

Certainly power unit unreliability has cost RBR strong results and a lack of power has virtually locked it out of the front of the grid during qualifying, but Renault’s substandard form isn’t the whole story, with design flaws and strategic errors deserving much of the blame.

Look no further than the Monaco Grand Prix for proof. Despite being the least power sensitive of all the circuits, Red Bull Racing hasn’t scored a win in the famous principality since 2012. It came close in 2016, when Daniel Ricciardo scored RBR’s first pole in three years, but the team dropped the ball so comprehensively with its strategy and pit stop execution that the Australian finished a furious second to Lewis Hamilton.

It puts paid to a certain extent of Red Bull Racing mythology. There is no doubt that the chassis is good, but is it as good as the team wants to believe?

This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix (May 27) will be the test, and with Mercedes and Ferrari already firmly established title protagonists, Red Bull Racing’s results in Monte Carlo could reveal whether it is destined to join them this season or spend another year biding its time.

“Hopefully I’ll also get some redemption,” Daniel Ricciardo said in the lead-up to the race, referencing his lost 2016 win. “The encouraging thing from Barcelona is that we were quick in the third sector, and that is probably the closest to Monaco, so hopefully that shows what we can do.”

QSI International School Phuket

His teammate, Max Verstappen, agreed that the circuit layout should minimise the package’s weaknesses.

“Monaco also doesn’t have any long straights, so I think it should be a good circuit for us,” he said.

There are some signs of relative progress to encourage the team. This time last season it already had an 89-point deficit in the constructors title standings, whereas this year the margin is only 73 points, including the 22 points lost in friendly fire at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Doubly motivating for Red Bull Racing is that the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix will be its 250th race start, creating an opportunity to reflect on the team’s impressive history since buying the Jaguar team joining the grid in 2005.

Red Bull Racing holds a 22.5% victory record across its relatively short tenure – ahead of McLaren’s 22% and behind Ferrari’s 24.2%, albeit with substantially fewer race starts than either – and only Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and the defunct Lotus team have won more than its four constructors championships.

Now in its 14th year, Red Bull Racing has made itself an indelible part of F1 history – but as the adage goes, you’re only as good as your last race, and no-one would deny the Austrian-owned team could do with stronger results.

Don’t forget to listen to Live89.5 each and every Saturday at 9am and 5pm for the Box of Neutrals radio show.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Police traffic tickets set to go digital

Drunk cyclists? Come on, that can't actually be a thing. What is there, like one? Focus on moto...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

...right,also customs should check every Chinese tourist to make sure none of this sunscreens been s...(Read More)


US Govt shutdown prevents tsunami-warning buoy going live

I wounder who would be responsible right now if something would happen?...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

Well, there is only fool out of the 60 milllion population who thinks, government action against no...(Read More)


New B25mn tsunami-warning buoy ‘to be operational tomorrow’

Not matter of being worried/panic when you live high/dry. A 1.5 year not working Tsunami buoy is no...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Westerners were the #1 tourists. 4 years ago, Thailand made changes to make things less desirable fo...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Have written it before, finished and scammed+++ Europeans and then it was Chinese next is Indian and...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

Sun-protection creams, soaps, shampoos during boat trips or during fishing for all professional fish...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

I think my know everything thai, has a very short, or damaged, memory, a very quick search throws th...(Read More)


Bad day in Phuket: Australian found hanged, Frenchman dies of heart attack

Not a good day for the police officers? I bet the two dead guys were not that happy about it either....(Read More)