Red Bull will be looking for a better performance in Shanghai after a disappointing result at the Australian Grand Prix.
Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo struggled in qualifying as he started in tenth position on the grid due to crashing his car in third practice.
Things didn’t get much better for the 27-year-old as his car stopped on the way to the grid, and although Ricciardo was able to eventually start the race, after just thirty laps his RB13 stopped on track and brought his day to a close.
Ricciardo started on the front row in China last year, and hoping for a good showing this time around he said: “When I first went [to Shanghai] it wasn’t one of my favourites and I wasn’t normally that competitive but since I’ve been with Red Bull Racing the circuit has been a real strength of mine and I’ve had some good results. Now I enjoy the circuit and going back there.”
Max Verstappen in 2016 finished the race in eighth position for Toro Rosso prior to his move to Red Bull: “I always enjoy to go back to China as it’s a special place and it’s a very nice track.
“I’m just looking forward to going there at this early stage of the season as everything is still very new and nothing has really been decided yet.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had a weekend to forget in home grand Prix at Albert Park.
The Australian crashed in qualifying which meant he started from tenth on the grid: “That was a tough one today. I don’t crash into the barriers often and the last place I want to do that is at home.
“I feel I crashed for the right reason, as I was basically pushing and trying to find the limit and things happen, so let’s say I’m not disappointed by the approach, it was just more of a frustrating outcome, starting 10th instead of being under the top 5.”
Things did not get any better for the home favourite as he suffered issues with his car that caused Ricciardo to not complete the race, Red Bull principal Christian Horner said: “A really frustrating start to the race with Daniel having a problem with what looks like a sensor on the gearbox stopping the car in sixth gear on the formation lap.”
Max Verstappen had a solid but unspectacular race as the Dutchmen finished fifth:” The start was really good but it was just a shame that out of turn one I had dirty air ahead of me, this allowed Kimi to stay on the outside and get in front of me again.
“From then on the pace wasn’t too bad, I could follow him pretty well which was a nice surprise and I had no pressure from behind me. It was positive to see we weren’t that far from Ferrari and Mercedes over a full race distance, this was a concern this morning but I’m relieved now to finish within touching distance.”
The Red Bull RB13 was unveiled this week and much attention has been made of what the new cars will look like due to the new regulations.
“The RB13 is the prettiest car we have designed and made because the geometry of the car and the new regulations means the proportions look right. It looks mean and it looks fast. Its that aid old adage it if looks right then it tends to go alright,” said Christian Horner.
“What excites us most about 2017 is the opportunities the new regulations give us. That’s going to push every department, in the whole team to try and outwit, outsmart, outdevelop, outproduce our rivals and that is going to be a stellar challenge in formula one this year.”
Red Bull have plenty of reasons to be confident this season. Their drivers’ Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have showed in 2016 that they have the ability and drive to challenge Mercedes in 2017.
“I think us as a team can build, learn and take a lot from 2016. We really set ourselves up well to continue in the trend we did. We are looking strong and good everyone is in the right mind-set right now and that hunger is back,” Ricciardo said.
On the first day of testing, Red Bull had a testing problem which limited their time on the Circuit-de Barcelona-Catalunya, Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin remarked: “Obviously we lost quite a bit of time today, which was frustrating. That was largely a function of the issues we had – a sensor problem this morning and then a problem with the energy store later on.
“We lost quite a bit of time today, which was frustrating. That was largely a function of the issues we had – a sensor problem this morning and then a problem with the energy store later on.”
There was not much optimism for Red Bull coming into the 2016 season as power unit problems forced them to slip down the pecking order and their partnership turned sour with Renault the previous year
“I didn’t expect to finish top five but you do the best you can and if the car is good enough obviously you can do better, “said Ricciardo.
The Australian finished fourth in his home grand prix but Red Bull’s reliability issues were again highlighted as Daniil Kvyat had to retire without completing a lap at Albert Park due to an electrical problem.
In Bahrain, Ricciardo ended the race in fourth for the second grand prix in succession whilst Kvyat completed his first race of the season to finish seventh.
The Russian Red Bull driver managed to grab his first podium of the season as he finished third behind Rosberg and Vettel in Shanghai. Ricciardo was in fourth place just ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Russia was one of the worst performances for Red Bull in 2016. Daniil Kvyat crashed into Sebastian Vettel’s car twice during the race. Ricciardo finished the race in 11th due to Vettel hitting the Australian as a result of Kvyat actions. Subsequently the Russian did not complete the race and was demoted to Toro Rosso after bad incidents in China and Russia.
Max Verstappen took over from Kvyat and Red Bull never looked back. “You know when you get that opportunity you just go,” Verstappen said of the switch. “The media was saying about the move and it was now up to me to prove them wrong and yeah in one way it was a very relaxed weekend as well because it took a lot of pressure off. I approached it as a learning weekend and I think so far it has been going pretty well from there onwards.”
The Dutch driver won his first race in Barcelona and Ricciardo finished fourth. Verstappen said: “It is something, you know it helps a lot, I think, a victory, it’s not everything because I mean you have to prove yourself over a whole season and then again and again but it’s something you know you come into a new team and then you win the race it’s like ok well at least it’s a very good start.”
In Monaco. Ricciardo completed the race in second after securing his first career pole position but Verstappen crashed out. “One thing I hadn’t yet done was a pole,” said Ricciardo, “so to do that in Monaco made it probably more special to get my first pole.”
Verstappen and Ricciardo finished fourth and seventh place in Canada. Next time in Baku, Ricciardo pipped his team mate to seventh as the 19-year-old was eighth.
Max Verstappen showed he has years of driving nous above his tender years as he performed admirably to finish second in Austria. Ricciardo finished in fifth. The Dutchman was beginning to show signs of genius as he equalled his position in Austria at Silverstone. His team mate had to settle for fourth.
In Hungary, Ricciardo came out on top as he finished third whilst young Verstappen finished two places behind him in fifth. At Hockenheim, the Red Bull pair captured second and third ending Mercedes dominance.
Daniel Ricciardo split the Mercedes pair again as he finished second to Nico Rosberg in Belgium. Verstappen was 11th.
Monza was the next destination but neither driver could secure a podium finish as Ricciardo and Verstappen finished fifth and seventh respectively.
In Singapore, Red Bull bounced back from the disappointment at the Italian Grand Prix as Ricciardo finished second to Nico Rosberg. Verstappen was just behind Vettel in sixth.
Ricciardo won his first race of the season in Malaysia and Verstappen completed the first Red Bull 1-2 since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Verstappen took his fourth second place of the year while Ricciardo ended the race in sixth.
United States was the next stop on the Formula One calendar and Ricciardo completed the race in third. Verstappen had to retire his car after 28 laps due to a problem which brought out the Virtual Safety Car.
In Mexico, Ricciardo finished in third as Red Bull locked out the second row with Verstappen in fourth. The 19-year-old then drove a stunning wet weather race in Brazil to finish third. Ricciardo had to settle with eighth.
At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull signed off their brilliant season with Verstappen and Ricciardo finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Verstappen was just pipped to fourth in the standings by Abu Dhabi podium finisher Vettel, whilst Ricciardo’s strong season restored him to the overall third he enjoyed in 2014. Red Bull-TAG finished the year a marked improvement on 2015, soundly beating Ferrari to best of the rest.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and fifth respectively position in the last race of the 2016 season.
The 19-year-old Dutchman would have been disappointed to start the race in sixth in Abu Dhabi as he was P2 in Practice 3: “Qualifying up until Q3 went very well, we had no issues and didn’t touch the car. In my last run I was pushing hard and a few tenths up but I locked up into turn 11, if not for that I feel I would have been around P3.”
However, the young protégé showed the resilience and driving ability that he has demonstrated throughout 2016: “I am very pleased with my result and how that race went. After being last after turn 1, having to fight my way back and doing it all on a one-stop was the best we could do and I am happy we pulled it off.
“It is very nice to finish the season fifth in the championship and to have had some really good results along the way.”
Daniel Ricciardo started behind the Mercedes post qualifying and he was pleased with the pace of the car in Practice 3:
“I’m definitely pleased I got the third place I was after. It feels really good. This morning was hard, I did a run quite early and I was nearly a second off Max so it didn’t look good on paper but the track warmed up so much that we didn’t really know what to expect coming into quali. Q1 was a little bit slow but then I picked it up and Q3 was solid enough so I was happy.”
The Australian couldn’t hold onto a podium as Vettel performed well but he has had a great year and will be aiming to improve in 2017: “I’m just frustrated in how the strategy played out in the end. We had the supersofts at the start and it was still going pretty well and we tried to make a move on Kimi. For sure it was close but we didn’t pull it off and that really hurt me. I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped but in hindsight it’s always easy to say.
“Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points.”
Red Bull have rediscovered their form of old as they have performed admirably to secure second place in the Constructors’ Championship with one race to go.
Max Verstappen’s podium finish in Brazil made sure the Milton Keynes team finish behind Mercedes.
With the 19-year-old driving superbly after his promotion from Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso, he has shown he has the temperament to challenge Mercedes in 2017.
“Of course it is the last race of the season and I think we can look back and be very happy with 2016,” said Verstappen. “There is plenty of work to do for next year with the regulation changes and I think everyone is excited to see the new cars so I can’t wait to get started.”
Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fifth in last years’ end of season race and he will be hoping for more of the same in Abu Dhabi. He said:
“I have always gone well on the track at Abu Dhabi, it’s been really enjoyable in the past, especially the last sector underneath the hotel, that’s great fun. It has a bit of a street circuit style to the layout which I enjoy. I had my first ever Formula 1 test at this track so it holds good memories and has generally been good to me. “
Max Verstappen produced one of the drives of the century in terrible conditions as he finished third in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
On race day in Sao Paulo it was raining and the safety car was deployed four times as Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Kimi Raikkonen all lost control of their cars due to the standing water on the track.
Felipe Massa crashed in the entrance to the pit lane which forced the safety car to come out again and his walk back into his garage enabled the crowd and pit crews to salute him in his last Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was called to the pits as a result to change from intermediates to the grippier full wet tyre, although he dropped to 14th position. What happened next will be considered one of the best examples of wet weather driving in Formula One history.
The 19-year-old quickly passed Esteban Gutierrez followed by team-mate Ricciardo. Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon were his next victims then Felipe Nasr and Niko Hulkenberg.
Verstappen dispatched Vettel on lap 56 then overtook Carlos Sainz but the Dutchman wasn’t finished there. He produced an outstanding overtake manoeuvre on Sergio Perez at turn 10 to claim his seventh podium finish this year two laps from home. He said:
“There was no way we could carry on [on intermediates] so had to pit again for wets. From there on the race was really good fun, plenty of overtakes around the outside because if you stay behind them there’s too much spray, I had to find another line. I just kept my head down and managed to get past quite a few cars in the remaining laps.”
Daniel Ricciardo finished 8th which secured Red Bull’s second position in the Constructors’ Championship.
“With Daniel finishing in eighth place that secures our second place in the Constructors’ Championship, which is a quite a feat,” said Christian Horner.
“We’d like to dedicate this race to the memory of a very valued member of our team, Mark Simpson, who we unfortunately lost after a difficult illness earlier in the week. ‘Simo’ as he was known to us, was an important part of our team and I’m sure he would have enjoyed what we saw from Red Bull Racing today.”
The penultimate race for Red Bull in which has been one of the best seasons since Sebastian Vettel was in the famous red and blue colours.
Daniel Ricciardo when he sits in the Red Bull Tag Heuer this weekend, in Sao Paulo it will be his 108th F1 start, he said: “The atmosphere at the track in Brazil is pretty unique, a lot of air horns and noise always make for a good crowd.
“As it is near the end of the season we usually do some big team dinners there which means it’s a really sociable race week. It’s up there as one of my top races due to the off track fun, let’s hope the on track action can match it.”
It has been a good year for the 18-year-old Max Verstappen and he will be finish sixth in the Drivers’ Championship:
“I like the track in Brazil, it’s a really special layout with quite a bit of height elevation, and it is anti-clockwise which always adds a bit more fun to the challenge. The track is quite a technical layout, especially sector 2.
“It is strange to think we are heading to Abu Dhabi in just a few weeks’ time, but I’m looking forward to finishing the year on a high and building towards an even stronger 2017, “said Verstappen.
Red Bull benefited from Sebastian Vettel’s punishment for dangerous driving as the Milton Keynes team locked out the second row in the Mexican Grand Prix.
The German was penalised by 10 seconds as he moved whilst in the braking zone. The dangerous driving rule was introduced into Formula One this season as Verstappen had broken the gentleman’s rule of not moving under braking. The rule commenced at the United States Grand Prix.
“I think it was a small bit of justice that the stewards made the decision to penalise Seb (Vettel). It was clearly a wrong move which has been punished according to the rules. As long as we can stick to the rules every week then we won’t have the frustration we felt after the race,” said Verstappen.
The Dutch teenager was demoted to fourth after his latest exploits: “When I went off the track towards the end I think it was pretty similar to Lewis on lap one, corner one. He went off and I felt he gained an advantage, I didn’t even gain an advantage, I was ahead going into braking and when I came back on the track I was the same distance in front so I don’t understand the penalty.”
Daniel Ricciardo was the recipient of both Verstappen and Vettel as he finished third: “Obviously I’m happy to get the points and I think that means third for me in the Drivers’ Championship so I’m quite proud of that this year. “
Christian Horner is happy how far Red Bull have improved this year and is looking forward to 2017: “I’m delighted for Daniel in having secured 3rd place in the Drivers’ Championship, he’s had an excellent season and deserves it. Daniel and Max have been driving brilliantly well, pushing each other on, they’ve both raised the bar and the level that they are operating at now is good to witness.
“We are chipping away and you are not seeing the margins Mercedes have had in previous years which bodes well not just for this year but for a more competitive Formula One in 2017.”
Daniel Ricciardo will reminisce fondly of his 2016 season as he has performed miracles in the Red Bull car. The Australian has one victory to his name as well as seven podium finishes in this years’ championship.
Last weekend in Austin, he managed to finished third behind Hamilton and Rosberg. Ricciardo ended the practice session in third and started the race in fifth during the corresponding race in 2015 he said:
“Last year in Mexico it was quite challenging, the surface was so new it meant grip levels were really low.
“This year should be a bit more fun with a bit more feeling. The track has some really cool sections, driving slow through the stadium bits means you can feel the atmosphere from the fans.”
Supersoft tyres will be used for the first time at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City after the track’s return to the Formula One circuit last year.
Max Verstappen will be hoping his gearbox problems are behind him as did not finish the race in Austin:
“The circuit in Mexico is interesting, it’s still really new, they had only just finished it when we went there in 2015. Hopefully when we go there this year the grip will have improved and the lap times will be faster,” said the Dutch teenager.