Forget Williams – Andrea Moda is F1’s biggest joke team

From the moment Claire Williams confessed there were problems on the horizon for their new challenger, FW42, it was evident to me, and to the F1 community, that things weren’t getting any better for her team. And, lo and behold, those fears were set in stone on Barcelona’s first testing day, when every team but the 9-time Constructors’ champions were ready to go. Once they did arrive, they came to realise they’d made another step back – they were over a second off the next slowest car.

Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Deputy Team Principal.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Thursday 25th April 2019. Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan.

So, naturally, this has got the wheels whirring in motion once again, that of the fans and media taking turns pummelling the back markers proverbial pinata with their stinging words, memes and hot takes. ‘The worst team I’ve ever seen’ has even been doing the social media rounds. The three races they’ve competed in have done scant good for fanning the flames, but I’m here to tell a little story that might just put things into perspective – the tale of Andrea Moda, F1’s true joke team.It’s September 1991, and F1 outfit Coloni are going through the wars. A Subaru engine supply scolded the team, and they switched back to customer Ford units for 1991. It did them no good, and the team consisting of just six people and even had Portuguese rookie Pedro Chaves walk out on them. They needed a buy-out to get back on their feet and grow into a respectable F1 outfit – and their prayers appeared to have been answered, when Italian shoe designer Andrea Sassetti threw his finances into the project.

And from the off, the whole saga was a Herculean disaster. The signs, believe it or not, were initially promising – planning to field two drivers instead of the one they were limited to in ‘91, both Alex Caffi and Enrico Bertaggia would be enjoying the fruits of what was intended to be BMW’s labour back in 1990, utilising that car design and coupling it with a Judd V8 powertrain. But when the team arrived in South Africa for the season opener, they had to make do with a modified Coloni chassis from the last year, with their new (old?) design still not ready.

Not that they’d even race it. The FIA weren’t impressed with the team’s refusal to pay a $100,000 sum required of new teams, something Sassetti disputed as Andrea Moda were bought rather than created. They were excluded from racing in Kyalami, and by the time they caved to the FIA’s demands for the next race in Mexico, they were still preparing the new cars and both their drivers were out of the door for publicly airing their annoyance at the lack of preparation going on.

For the third race, surprisingly experienced coup Roberto Moreno and newcomer Perry McCarthy would turn up to Brazil, looking to drive the team forward. Perry wouldn’t get the chance, being denied a Super Licence to race around Interlagos, and the staggering lack of pace the car offered would deny Moreno a path out of pre-qualifying.

Their former fired driver Bertaggia came back to the attention of Sassetti with significant funding, but as the team had already made their two designated driver changes he was prevented from reversing his decision. The sheer ineptitude of Sassetti’s grasp on rulebooks led him to resent McCarthy from then on in, blaming him for failures and blatantly disadvantaging him for the benefit of Moreno.

It took until Monaco for things to get better – and even then, it was only by their and Coloni’s lowly standards and not those of a standard F1 team. Moreno managed to get through pre-qualifying, due to attrition in the session more than anything else, but his skill did keep his qualifying time within the threshold needed and actually pipped Eric Van de Pole to 26th and second last on the grid.

This was celebrated like a victory by the team, which given in its former guises the last time they did this was 1989 was at least slightly understandable. It only took 11 laps for Moreno to retire from the race, but participating at all was at least something to build on.

Build on it they did not. Out of the paddock, Sassetti’s unprofessionalism was laid bare when his Italian nightclub was burned down to the ground by an attempted killer, who then attempted to shoot him dead. Yeah, that really happened. Andrea Moda were taking bullets left right and centre on the track too, if they were ever to go out on it. They withdrew from the next race in Canada due to their Judd engines not being there – the cars were present, yet the unit that makes them go was not. Only Brabham lending an engine allowed Moreno to take part in another fruitless pre-quali. And it still got much, much worse.

French truck drivers protesting prevented the parts needed at Magny Cours arriving, so once again they couldn’t run. Sponsors eventually got to the end of their tether and jumped, Sassetti was having to cut costs more and more, and eventually things spiralled into the dangerous. Only one car’s worth of parts were ready for Britain, but Andrea Moda would swap parts between the machines in a quick rush, hoping both drivers could set their times without farce. Speaking of farce, even that word isn’t strong enough for a team sending their driver, McCarthy in this case, out on wet tyres on a dry circuit.

Before long, the team was rightfully barred from taking part in the World Championship. Constant no-shows, not one clean-ran race, and the constant unprofessionalism and anarchy of Sassetti left the FIA with no choice to bar the outfit, and given Andrea Moda were found to be putting a damaged steering system in McCarthy’s car, it was best they weren’t able to race. The final nail in the coffin for the team? Sassetti’s arrest in Belgium over forging invoices. As bad as Claire and the Williams gang have been over the last eighteen months, they have a long way to go before they match the biggest joke team of F1.

 

Formula One liveries rated! – A welcome splash of colour

One thing most F1 fans look out for when cars are launched is the livery. There’s been some iconic ones over the years, with Lotus’ JPS, McLaren’s Marlboro backed effort and Jordan’s minimalist green on their 191. Well here we rate the 2018 efforts!

Mercedes – The Silver Arrows lead by example from the front. Their livery has been consistent ever since Mercedes returned as a works team in 2010. Silver with flashes of Petronas blue and green, it’s a tried and tested formula, and they’ll be keen to show that nothing’s changed for the Brackley based team. 7.5/10

Steve Etherington/Mercedes AMG F1

Ferrari – There’s some things you can rely on never changing, water is wet, grass is green, and Ferrari is red. They’ve done away with the white engine cover and gone for a fully scarlet car for this season. It harks back to around 10 years ago when they won their last championship, funny thing is Kimi Raikkonen is still there, never change, Ferrari. 9/10

Ferrari Media

Red Bull – Red Bull have a weird knack of unveiling stunning liveries which really shake things up, and then ditch them for their traditional blue, red and yellow finish. Their testing liveries are always stunning, and while their usual matte effort is a looker, the ‘blue digital camo’ from this season has everyone begging Red Bull to consider using it all season long. Please guys? 7/10

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Force India – After a few years of silver and black, Force India, or the artist formerly known as Force India, has shirked its India name in recent years in its livery. The striking pink has stayed for this season, with some mixes of white in there too. It looks great, and it adds to the colourful selection on show this season. 8.5/10

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Williams – With the news of Martini pulling out of Formula One next season, it’s making us all appreciate what we have before it’s gone. It’s white with the iconic blue and red stripes, and in my opinion it’s about to join the Mansell Canon years and Rothmans blue in becoming a classic well remembered Williams livery. 7.5/10

The Williams FW41. (Image Credit: Williams F1/LAT Images)

Renault – Renault have always had a vivid livery, whether it’s the blue and yellow from ten years ago, or the vibrant yellow we have today. They join the likes of Force India, McLaren and Ferrari in delivering a dash of colour to the grid. It’s reminiscent of the late 1970’s when Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost were winning races for fun in the old turbo era. 8.5/10

Renault Sport Formula One Team

Toro Rosso – Toro Rosso are finally starting to emerge from Red Bull’s shadow, and are becoming more than just ‘a Red Bull junior team’. This is shown in their livery too, they dumped the red, blue and gold for an amazing red, silver and blue. While Red Bull can use this to promote some of their other range of products, Toro Rosso can really shine, and that they will, what a beauty! 9/10

Haas – Haas have been looking for consistency in their first couple of years in Formula One, and if their liveries are anything to go by, then they’ve well and truly achieved it. The trusted red, black and white finish is stylish, and the subtle changes to the car are welcome. 8/10

Steven Tee/LAT Images/Haas F1 Team

McLaren – McLaren have a long and illustrious history, and their livery this season shows that. They’ve returned to the Papaya orange of the 1960’s and early 70’s. While many are claiming it looks like a Bic pen or a can of Irn Bru, the orange and blue finish looks beautiful, and will hopefully be seen towards the front again this season. 9.5/10

Zak Mauger/LAT Images/Pirelli Media

Alfa Romeo – The Sauber buyout has finally happened, and with it comes a new name, and a new livery. While Sauber remain, Alfa Romeo become the title name, and with it comes a red and white car with black stripes. The only issue is from the front profile it looks a little like the Williams, but that’s not a bad thing, imitation is the best form of flattery after all…the Hinwil team have never looked so good! 8/10

Jerry Andre/LAT Images/Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team

Force India unveils VJM11 in Barcelona

Force India became one of the last teams to launch its challenger for the 2018 F1 season, pulling the covers off the VJM11 in the pitlane ahead of Barcelona testing.

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Overall, the VJM11 doesn’t deviate much from last year’s design, which netted the team fourth place in the 2017 Constructors’ Championship. The VJM10’s stepped nose section and elongated thumb-tip nose, unique on last year’s grid, have remained for 2018.

The most striking visual difference between last year and this comes from the car’s livery—still built around the “pink panther” scheme of sponsor BWT, Force India has added to the VJM11 with sections of white on the nose, cockpit and rear wing.

Sahara Force India F1 Team

But although the VJM11 shows no drastic departures from last year’s philosophy, Force India’s technical director Andy Green said the addition of the Halo meant the team couldn’t simply carry over last year’s chassis as planned:

“From an aerodynamic perspective, the work [on integrating the Halo] is still ongoing. It’s not designed to be an aerodynamic device. It doesn’t do us any favours in that department.”

Green further explained that the Halo causes “a significant downstream effect, especially around the rear wing area.

“It requires a lot of work to mitigate the issues that it causes. We’re still actively working on that, and I don’t think we’ll have a solution until Melbourne.”

Sahara Force India F1 Team

The Mercedes-powered VJM11 will have its track debut on Monday courtesy of Force India development driver Nikita Mazepin, before race drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez take over for the rest of the week.

The team’s new reserve driver Nicholas Latifi was scheduled to drive on the final day of the test, but has had to stand down after being hospitalised by a serious infection earlier in the week.

Toro Rosso Completes 2018 Grid With Official Pit-Lane Launch

The 2018 F1 grid is now complete, with Scuderia Toro Rosso having unveiled their new car officially in the pit-lane of the Circuit de Catalunya on the morning of the first pre-season test.

Although today was the official launch of the STR13, on 21st February the team released an image from a shakedown test at Misano in response to an unauthorised leak across social media, something that has dogged other teams’ launches over the last week.

The main talking point with the 2018 launches has, of course, been the halo, and Toro Rosso have opted to include extra aerodynamic detailing on theirs, as have most of the other teams on the grid.

The car sports largely the same livery as its predecessor, though with the addition of a red-stripe across the top of the sidepods, a chrome-effect red, blue and silver that proved to be popular with the fans last year, and again this year. already.

The STR13 is Toro Rosso’s first design to be powered by Honda, having switched from previous supplier Renault after a series of disagreements over the course of 2017. Toro Rosso will be Honda’s sole customer in 2018 after their deal with McLaren, which was supposed to last for at least ten years, collapsed after just three.

Their driver line-up for 2018 is comprised of New Zealander Brendon Hartley and Frenchman Pierre Gasly, the least experienced pairing on the grid with not even ten Grand Prix starts between them. It follows the roundabout of drivers that Toro Rosso went through in 2017. They started the year with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, before the former defected to Renault and the latter was unceremoniously dumped from the Red Bull programme. After a series of chops and changes, Toro Rosso settled for Hartley and Gasly as their replacements, and they were ultimately retained for 2018.

The STR13’s Honda engine was fired up for the first time on Valentine’s Day, so Toro Rosso will definitely be hoping for a long and happy marriage in 2018 and beyond, and not a messy and very public divorce.

Mercedes W09 unveiled at Silverstone

Mercedes has revealed the W09 EQ Power+, the team’s new car for the 2018 F1 season, at a special launch event at Silverstone.

The new Silver Arrow carried out its first series of laps on Thursday morning with Valtteri Bottas at the wheel, before being given an official presentation later in the day. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton then took to the track for his first taste of the car he hopes will take him to a fifth drivers’ crown this year.

Steve Etherington/Mercedes AMG F1

Like most of its rivals for this season, the W09 isn’t much of a departure from last year’s model. It has retained the same ultra-long wheelbase that helped the W08 to dominance at 2017’s high-speed circuits, and also sports a conventionally-rounded nose cap—as yet, the only such design on this year’s grid.

However, the W09 also features plenty of less obvious refinements meant to address its predecessor’s peaky performance.

As well as an increase in rake similar to the Red Bull philosophy, the W09 also features an all-new suspension design, and what Hamilton described as “a different aerodynamic characteristic” for the floor, both aimed at improving the car’s ride.

Steve Etherington/Mercedes AMG F1

Speaking of the new car, Mercedes technical director James Allison said: “Across the board, [the W09] is more elegant than last year.

“Last year’s regulations were brand new and we weren’t quite sure which direction they would take us in.

“This year, being a little more confident of what we’re aiming for, we’ve been able to commit more fully to certain concepts. So we have the packaging much tighter and have taken things to more of an extreme.”

Steve Etherington/Mercedes AMG F1

McLaren planning “substantial” early updates to launch-spec car

McLaren is pushing to introduce a “substantial” upgrade package for the MCL33’s race debut in Melbourne, although the initial design to be revealed this week will not differ much from last year’s challenger.

As seems to be the trend for 2018, McLaren has hinted that the launch and test specification for its new chassis will be more of a close evolution than a radical departure from last year’s MCL32, allowing the team to focus on the aerodynamic impact of the Halo and new engine cover regulations in early testing.

But once those initial assessments are complete, the team’s testing programme will turn towards evaluating a raft of new parts specifically for March’s Australian Grand Prix.

Glenn Dunbar/McLaren

McLaren’s aero chief Peter Prodromou told Autosport that fans “can expect something quite similar conceptually” to the MCL32 at Friday’s team launch and during testing:

“We very much hope and expect that the car will feel from the off quite similar to how it felt at the end of last year and perform quite similarly,” Prodromou explained. “Hopefully we’ve taken a step forwards and then we will try to do something a bit more substantial for Melbourne.

“That is where the major focus has been and still is—to try to deliver a decent upgrade both aerodynamically and mechanically and to put our best foot forward for Melbourne.”

Refined RS18 headlines Renault season launch

Renault has revealed its plans for the forthcoming Formula 1 season at a launch event focused on unveiling the team’s 2018 challenger.

The RS18—besides the mandatory addition of the Halo—features several small aerodynamic evolutions from its predecessor, including a slimmer nose section and much tighter packaging around the rear of the engine.

The team’s livery has also been tweaked for 2018, with Renault’s traditional yellow featuring more sparingly along the leading edges of the car.

Renault Sport Formula One Team

Speaking about Renault’s 2018 goals, technical chief Bob Bell highlighted improved reliability as one of the marque’s key targets:

“We need a strong reliability record,” Bell said. “That’s something we need to focus on. We need the car as reliable as we can make it.

“To improve reliability, we have to accept nothing less than perfection. Anything that ends up on the car needs to be designed and built to the highest standard; checked and rechecked as fit for purpose.

“All the issues that blighted us last year need to be eradicated by a fresh approach. That’s a huge challenge…and it’s the toughest task we face.”

Renault engine chief Remi Taffin echoed Bell, stating that having a reliable car will be the team’s “first priority”, especially with teams limited to just three power units per car in 2018.

Renault Sport Formula One Team

As well as revealing its new car, Renault also announced as part of its season launch an updated Renault Sport Academy driver lineup.

With the team’s previous third driver Sergey Sirotkin moving on to a race seat at Williams, Renault has promoted British-Korean junior Jack Aitken to the vacant reserve driver role. The 22-year-old, who has been part of the RSA since 2016, will combine his expanded Renault role this year with a maiden F2 campaign with ART GP.

Aitken will be joined in Renault’s F1 stable by fellow F2 driver Artem Markelov. The 23-year-old Russian, who finished runner-up to Charles Leclerc in last year’s F2 championship, has been named Renault’s 2018 test and development driver.

Welcome Back Old Friend – Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Launch The C37

Eleanor Roosevelt once said that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. If there is one team that has had to dig deep to keep their F1 dream alive, it is the Sauber team.  That belief and dream came to beautiful fruition with the launch of their C37 2018 F1 challenger… alongside an old friend; Alfa Romeo.

 

Sauber have had a tumultuous few years which have been well documented, however the new ownership combined with the re-entry of Alfa into F1 created an air of optimism which took center-stage today with the unveiling of the Halo-ed C37.

The Quadrifoglio features proudly on the side of the dark candy apple and white car, which is being rated as one of the most striking liveries of the 2018 cars revealed thus far. Following suit with the other teams, the halo has been co-ordinated to look less conspicuous on the car and hopefully not be as distracting as the prototype seen in 2017.

The C37 will have 2018 Ferrari power, a move that is welcomed by both drivers. Marcus Ericsson begins another season with the Swiss based outfit and will drive alongside the talented and highly rated Charles Leclerc.

While more specific technical details are yet to be revealed, team Principal, Fred Vasseur has gone on record to say that the team is taking a new technical direction in 2018, featured a new aerodynamic concept that has been months in the making. Fans will recall that the team all but stopped work on the C36 in order to focus on the C37 and will officially roll out at the Circuit de Catalunya tests later this month.

The winglets on the car are delicate, which seems to be the trend with the cars revealed to date and significant changes to the side-pod areas. Sauber have struggled on aerodynamic intensive tracks and hope the changes will bring about an improvement.

The team are looking forward to improving on their performance and “catching up” with the field utilising the combination of experience and youth with their drivers and the sweeping changes at Hinwil, that has now lead to a close working relationship with the Ferrari team.

Sauber have been the great F1 dream, a single dream made good. 2018 may just bring about the next chapter in their extraordinary story.

All images are copyright Sauber F1 Media Pool 

Erstes Topteam 2018: Red Bull zeigt RB14

Daniel Clerihew/Red Bull Content Pool

Nach Haas und Williams präsentierte heute Red Bull als erstes Topteam, den neuen Einsatzwagen für die Saison 2018. Da Red Bull für ausgefallene Ideen bekannt ist, war es nicht verwunderlich dass alle Augen heute morgen vor einem ersten Shake Down in Silverstone auf den RB14 gerichtet waren.

Das erste was in das Auge fiel und ein großen Unterschied zum Vorjahreswagen darstellte, war die Lackierung: Ein mattes, futuristisches Design im schwarz/blauen Pixellook. Es ist eine radikale Änderung – doch bevor man zu sehr in Euphorie verfällt, sollte man beachten, dass das nur eine Lackierung für die Testfahrten in Barcelona ist. Der altbekannte Red Bull Stil aus Blau, Gelb und Rot wird wohl bereits nach den Testfahrten zurückkehren.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass Red Bull mit einem solch’ ausgefallenen Design bei den Testfahrten auftritt – bereits 2015 sorgte das Team mit dem Cameolook für Aufsehen. Ob es am Ende wirklich was bringt, dass die Details vor der Konkurrenz verhüllt bleiben, wird man abwarten müssen.

Vom Auto selbst, ist die größte Änderung natürlich das Halo, welches gut an die Lackierung angepasst wurde und somit kaum sichtbar ist. Ansonsten wäre da noch die Vorderradaufhängung.  Diese wurde an jene von Mercedes und Ferrari angepasst, während das Loch in der Nase vom Vorjahreswagen geblieben ist. Aerodynamisch gesehen hat der RB mit dem Auto welches im Vorjahr präsentiert wurde, wenig zutun. Die Handschrift von Adrian Newey ist wieder erkennbar. Wirkte der Vorjahreswagen für Red Bull Verhältnisse fast schon nackt, sind nun wieder deutlich mehr Flügel zusehen. Damals startete Red Bull holprig.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

2017 stellte sich bekanntlich als Enttäuschung heraus. Sollte eine Aerodynamische Regelrevolution den Bullen eigentlich in die Karten spielen, verpasste man am Saisonstart den Anschluss.  Erst mit einem großen Aerodynamikupdate zum Spanien GP, schaffte es die Truppe aus Milton Keynes die Lücke zu Ferrari und Mercedes zu schließen. Doch dort war es bereits zu spät.

Ein weiterer Hauptgrund für die Performance 2017 war die schlechte Zuverlässigkeit – etwas wo sowohl Red Bull als auch McLaren von Renault für 2018 Besserung erwarten. Umso höher ist die Erwartung 2018, zumindest intern. Nach außen stapelt man nach dem Lehrjahr 2017 nun tief – Helmut Marko lies bei “Auto, Motor und Sport” verlauten, dass er nicht glaube dass RB 2018 bereits um die WM fahren wird. Ob das auch in Wirklichkeit so ist, darf bezweifelt werden.

Doch in einem hat er Recht: Auf Fahrerseite ist das Team bereits WM tauglich aufgestellt. Daniel Ricciardo wird erneut an der Seite von Max Verstappen fahren.  Der Vetrag des Australiers läuft am Ende der Saison aus, während Red Bull erst vergangenes Jahr den Holländer bis 2020 an sich bund. Der Vorteil dieser Fahrerpaarung ist zweifelsfrei der, dass beide vollkommene Alphatiere sind, während die Konkurrenz von Mercedes und Ferrari neben ihren Starfahrern mit Bottas und Räikkonen jeweils eine Art Nummer 2-Fahrer beschäftigen.

Interessant wird in dieser Saison auch die Motorenfrage: Renault gab laut Medienberichten bereits im Herbst 2017 der Chefetage von RB bekannt, dass man sie nicht 2019 beliefern werde – Mit dieser Frage in Hinterkopf haben die Bullen bis zum Sommer diesen Jahres Zeit, sich einen neuen Partner zu beschaffen – umso mehr hofft man auf einen Aufschwung von Honda mit Toro Rosso.

 

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

All diese Faktoren dürften eine Rolle spielen, wie das Jahr für RB laufen wird. Wenn sie gegen Mercedes und Ferrari kämpfen, werden beide Fahrer glücklich sein.

Wird Red Bull es mit einer deutlich besseren und organisierteren Vorbereitung als im Vorjahr schaffen, von Anfang an an der Spitze mitzumischen, oder werden sie ein weiteres Jahr nur das Heck von Ferrari und Mercedes bewundern können? Die Zeit wird es zeigen.

 

 

 

Red Bull’s 2018 challenger launched

Today, Red Bull followed Haas and Williams in launching their 2018 F1 car, the RB14. They are the highest profile team to launch yet so it was all eyes on the Milton Keynes-based team when the covers came off the RB14 this morning, prior to a shake-down run at Silverstone.

The RB14’s first major difference is the livery: a matte, futuristic looking design that has pixilated regions. It’s a radical step compared to Red Bull liveries past. But before we all get too excited, the race livery will be revealed at Barcelona for testing—that is more likely to be the blue, yellow and red mix that has been typical of Red Bull in the past few years.

It’s not the first time they’ve come up with a drastically different test livery compared to the race livery and, knowing Red Bull, it probably won’t be the last.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Car-wise, the biggest change is obviously the halo which has been painted the same matte blue as the chassis and blends in well with the rest of the car. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world but, on first glance, it’s much less noticeable than before.

Elsewhere, the front suspension has been raised slightly to match Mercedes and Ferrari while the ‘Pingu’-dubbed hole in the nose has stayed. Aero-wise the RB14 isn’t anywhere near as bare as its predecessor was at its launch—that should stand Red Bull in better stead for the season ahead.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

2017 was not as successful as anyone had hoped for Red Bull, when an aerodynamics-based rule change should’ve played in their favour, especially with Adrian Newey on board. When they launched the RB13 with the headline “unlucky for some” they hoped that it would be unlucky for Mercedes and Ferrari, not for their drivers. The car was almost bare at the launch and then at pre-season testing with the ‘B-spec’ car arriving for the Spanish GP to no avail.

Their main problem wasn’t speed, it was reliability—something that both Red Bull and McLaren alike hope that Renault have gotten on top of for 2018. If the expectation was high for 2017, it’s even higher for 2018 with both drivers starting to look restless.

Daniel Ricciardo will again be partnered by Max Verstappen, and while the latter’s contract stretches to 2020, Ricciardo is up for renewal. Mercedes and Ferrari would both happily have the Australian alongside their respective star drivers but both offer effective ‘number 2’ drives. Staying at Red Bull may turn out to be a preferable option for Ricciardo, but if he does go Carlos Sainz is in prime position to replace him.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

All of this hinges on what kind of 2018 Red Bull have. If they’re fighting Mercedes and Ferrari, both drivers will be happy—if not, they’ve got a problem on their hands.

With an extra five days of preparation, will Red Bull be able to return to winning ways or will they face another year in the doldrums? Only time will tell…