Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Red Bull’s efforts to join last year’s title protagonists undermined by engine supplier

Red Bull’s efforts to join last year’s title protagonists undermined by engine supplier

FORMULA ONE: The three months that passed between the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi last November and the first fire-up of pre-season testing on February 26 was enough to engender almost boundless optimism amongst all 10 Formula One teams. Almost all of them will be disappointed.

Formula-One
By Michael Lamonato

Friday 2 March 2018, 10:01AM


Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer on track during day one of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday (Feb 26) in Montmelo, Spain. Photo: Patrik Lundin / Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer on track during day one of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday (Feb 26) in Montmelo, Spain. Photo: Patrik Lundin / Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like pre-season testing to shatter the dreams that the relative quiet of the off-season, unhindered by the distraction of actually racing, allow to grow unfettered. One need only remember the sheer, abject horror McLaren experienced last year when it could complete only 29 ginger laps on the first day of testing thanks to its spluttering Honda engine as evidence.

Though no such racing terrors have yet gripped a team this season, it nonetheless took just hours for some those carefully cultivated green shoots of hope to be swept aside in exchange for seeds of discontent for at least one championship hopeful.

While Mercedes and Ferrari, last year’s title protagonists, quietly went about their business, Formula One’s self-declared champion-in-exile, Red Bull Racing, was learning that its efforts to join them were being gently undermined by engine supplier Renault.

Red Bull Racing has suffered a great deal since its championship-winning 2013 season. By combination of Renault’s sub-par motor, the least powerful and reliable of all bar Honda, and the team’s own chassis design errors the team has won just eight times in the past four years.

But after ending last season strongly – Max Verstappen tied title-winner Lewis Hamilton’s two wins and 100 points in the last six rounds – the Milton Keynes squad made a concerted effort to carry that momentum into the New Year, in part by ensuring its car was ready for a pre-testing private shakedown to solve any problems ahead of time.

But that planned burst from the blocks may have to wait, with Renault confirming that already its first power unit specification of the year will be “compromised”.

“We have decided voluntarily to make some compromises … in order to make sure that we have got the right platform,” Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport. “The focus is very much on reliability.

“Our target is more or less to start [round one] in Melbourne with the same performance level as we finished in Abu Dhabi [last year].”

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

It’s a truism in Formula One that to stand still is to go backwards, and Red Bull Racing can hardly afford to drift any further back than last year’s third place in the constructors standings, 300 points off the lead.

Worse for Red Bull Racing is that Mercedes, already owning the mantle of most powerful engine, hinted during the off-season that it was close to breaking through the magic 1000-brake horsepower barrier.

Doubly concerning is that new regulations for 2018 allow only three power units to be used for the entire season, meaning Renault will have but two precious chances to catch up.

For the Renault works team this will be of less concern, with the French manufacturer’s five-year plan not due to come to championship-winning maturation until 2020, despite the enormous steps in performance it made last season.

McLaren too, at least at first, will likely prove a less demanding customer after coming from the staggeringly low baseline of last year’s Honda-powered nightmare.

However, for Red Bull Racing 2018 is meant to be the season it puts all its pieces together to build a credible title tilt. Its chassis is ready ahead of schedule and drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter out of contract and ready to entertain potential suitors, are desperate to fight for regular wins.

But the final piece of the championship puzzle seems lost somewhere in in France, and optimism only counts for so much as round one in Australia creeps ever closer.

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.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Karon Police reveal details of Norwegian arrested for death of Brit at Phuket resort

Your initial reporting on this story were completely ridiculous. Many other outlets reported the sam...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Wrong K,especially in SEA i had the same experience as G.with those fruit baskets and straight blade...(Read More)


Phuket officials whittle down routes for ‘Bike Un Ai Rak’ mass-cycling event

K,this event isn't meant to be a tourist attraction.Why do you hijack it for your rant about be...(Read More)


Karon Police reveal details of Norwegian arrested for death of Brit at Phuket resort

Just like everywhere else in the world, only a judge can decide if bail is granted, police can only ...(Read More)


Rescue workers trap three monitor lizards in houses and gardens in Kathu

Kurt,they were released into their natural habitat.Same as they do with snakes.Should they give a wa...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Kurt,I can't remember being with you in the same room wherever i stayed.So please tell me how do...(Read More)


Phuket officials whittle down routes for ‘Bike Un Ai Rak’ mass-cycling event

Un Air Rak? Warmth of love? How about to experience that first at Phuket beaches, in Phuket taxis, v...(Read More)


Rescue workers trap three monitor lizards in houses and gardens in Kathu

Yes GerryT81, that is true. But Phuket officialdom should warn foreign tourists about it on forehand...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Sorry GerryT81. Fruit baskets never come with a steak knife. And any kind of burger by room service ...(Read More)