Some unfinished business
Suzuka 2014
Japanese Grand Prix
Ricciardo: Wins now the target for Red Bull in 2014, as championship challenge unlikely
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 May 2014   |  7:15 pm GMT  |  129 comments

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has given the clearest indication yet that Red Bull is beginning to set its sights on winning some races this year as a principal target, given that with over a quarter of the season gone, Mercedes is still over a second faster than them.

Speaking after qualifying in third place in Barcelona, 1.053s slower than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, despite bringing a raft of updates to the chassis and Renault power unit, Ricciardo said that he was surprised to be so far behind.

Team mate Sebastian Vettel had more bad luck, breaking down at the decisive moment in Q3 and then requiring a gearbox change which means he will start 15th on the grid.

There was a clear sense of disappointment at Red Bull that on a track like Barcelona, which does not have hugely long straights like the Tilke-designed tracks in Asia at the start of the season and which is aerodynamically dependent, Red Bull had not closed the gap and in fact if anything, the gap has increased slightly between Mercedes and the reigning champions.


The team is almost 100 points behind Mercedes in the Constructors Championship and Vettel and Ricciardo are 46 points and 55 points respectively behind in the Drivers’ Standings. It makes one wonder whether, given this cold shower on its hopes at the fifth of 19 races, Red Bull has to reset its targets.

That certainly seems to be what Ricciardo is suggesting,

“That’s what we have to set our sights on – to at least have a genuine chance to win a race, that is what we have to ask for,” Ricciardo told Network 10 TV Australia after qualifying. “The championship, as early as it is, it’s a long way off, in terms of what we are capable of.

“Even for us to start winning races, they (Mercedes) are still likely to be the next best team, so the points gain wouldn’t be that much.

“The Championship is probably aside for now.

“But if we can get on the stop step of the podium that would be an awesome achievement.

“(We had) Quite a few updates for this race and we hoped it would have put us closer to Mercedes, but they have obviously found something as well. But the European season will be interesting; now the rate of development will start to ramp up.”

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129 Comments
  1. Michael says:

    They were only deluding themselves. This Championship has been over.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Does look that way.

    2. David in Sydney says:

      I wonder if RBR will get a discount from Renault for next year..?

      Is it time to find a new engine supplier and team together with a few other teams..? I am sure if RBR and two others approach Toyota with a BAG OF MONEY they could be convinced to come back as a engine supplier…

      1. I think I remember Toyota (and Williams) were down on power as far as the engine is concerned back in 2009.

        They might be doing great in the WEC but I’m really not sure they’d do a better job than Renault who seems to be making great strides at the moment.

        RBR were nowhere in pre-season testing and now are second best, albeit 1 second behind Mercedes.

    3. All revved-up says:

      Very soon the more strategically minded teams will start concentrating on next year’s car. Just as Mercedes did last year.

    4. Dave C says:

      Of course the championship is over and with Ric shouting his mouth off now will only relight the fire for Vettel to beat him this year. I can’t see Ricciardo beating Seb on points over this season unless its completely dictated by reliability. Sooner or later Vettel will go up a few gears and show young Dan the way.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Strongly agree… Vettels “haters” have become ricciardo fan-boys…

      2. furstyferret says:

        A bit like all the ham haters have suddenly become rosberg fans

      3. JohnH says:

        How about you and Dave C grow up! Vettel has had a tough start. I have seen no hate against Vettel.
        Ricciardo is just telling the truth as he sees it.

      4. fred nerk says:

        He hardly shouted his mouth off, and there is no reason Vettel would feel anything other than agreement with his words.

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @daveC….what exactly has ricciardo said? source please

  2. Gaz Boy says:

    The torque advantage of the Merc engine, particularly out of tight, twiddly corners is something that the Renault powered Bulls are struggling to match.
    The Red Bull has excellent downforce, but being down on torque by at least – at least – 80lb is something I fear will put the Merc-Brackley brigade at the head of the field for the majority of the season.] – fear as in out of reach out of the other “Big 4″ on competitiveness.
    I’m trying to think of a circuit where the torque advantage of the Mercedes engine in slow corners could be denuded in the new few races – – only Austria and Silverstone spring to mind.
    However, there hasn’t been a soaking wet race yet, and also the chance of unreliability, or a wild race – Canada perhaps? – could thrown a double 6 into the mix.
    However, on pure pace on merit, Red Bull have an awful lot of progress to make – this could be 1988, 1989, 1992, 2002, 2004 all over again. The Mercedes is the most refined package in the F1 pitlane, with the best engine, and the best integrated solution – it is supremely strong in all areas and doesn’t appear to have a major weakness.
    Prove me wrong Milton Keynes lads and lasses, prove me wrong………..
    PS When it doesn’t work for a driver, it really doesn’t work for a driver……….isn’t that right Sebastian?

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Does Sebastian get an extra set of free tyres tomorrow as he didn’t set a time? If he does, will be worth watching…………..mind you, Barcelona is something of a boogie-man track for him………

      1. TGS says:

        He only used 1 set of mediums which he will start on so yeah, I guess the rest will be fresh rubber.

      2. kieran says:

        Good point, Riccardo upfront but with a used set, whereas Vettel behind with an extra set. They could sneak in 3rd and 4th here. What striked me as strange was, that Vettel continued after he was notified of the problem halfway down the pitlane – why not simply retire by rolling the car back?

      3. Ahmed says:

        He thought he could complete a lap as he assumed he only had a problem with 2nd gear and he wouldn need to downshift back to 2nd gear given the characteristics of the circuit

      4. Dave C says:

        It doesn’t matter if Vettel gets new tyres or not he just hasn’t had enough runnung in the car and also their top speed is diabolical complained to the other midfield, don’t expect him to pass anyone.

      5. Bryce says:

        Daniel seems to overtake without too much trouble :-)

    2. kieran says:

      Add 2011 Red Bull to that mix as well.

      1. F1interested says:

        Wrong. 2011 Red Bull was not as fast as 2014 Mercedes is.

      2. Dave C says:

        2011 Redbull was overall fastest but just look at sone of the qualu and races it was nowhere near those dominant years mentioned, Webber couldn’t even win a race til Brazil where the team had to gift him one by claiming Vettel’s gearbox was damaged or something. This year’s Mercedes is on another level. If Rosberg doesn’t have what it takes in 2012 to fully beat a 43 old Schumacher in quali then what chance does he have for this title?

      3. KRB says:

        2011 Spanish GP, 1-2 on grid, gap to first non-RBR car was 0.980 (3rd HAM).

        2010 Spanish GP, 1-2 on grid, gap to 3rd was 0.834 (again HAM).

        Gap in 2014 is 1.053. Basically one-tenth bigger than 2011, two-tenths bigger than 2010.

      4. kieran says:

        To accurately compare the 2011 Red Bull with the others you must take into consideration that this was the introduction of the schizophrenic Pirelli tyres. I’m sure the 2011 Red Bull could have lapped the field in almost every race had the tyres been durable – just look at qualifying. It took every pole position except one throughout the year.

      5. NJ says:

        That Rosberg did manage to take the fight and beat Schumacher more than some of the time means he does have a chance at the World Title.

    3. Martin says:

      My feeling on the engine torque is that its benefit is greatest immediately after a gear change. If the time spent in each gear increases as they go up the gears, i.e. the gearing roughly equally spaced in speed, then faster tracks will be worse for the Renault cars, as they spend more time away from the peak power point.

      Monaco and Hungary, on the other hand, have less time spent on full throttle than most tracks. So that would reduce the torque advantage. Hungary will have a greater priority on efficient downforce than Monaco, and that may help the Mercedes, if I’m interpreting Toto Wolff’s comments correctly.

    4. aveli says:

      too much torque causes wheelspin.

  3. Mhilgtx says:

    If and it’s a big if Renault actually told Red Bull they were not able to do any more development or they were slowing development due to non payment from other teams I would be looking for new engine supplier. Porsche comes to mind.

    Renault has really embarrassed itself this year and while the enjoy a pretty poor reputation here in the US their partner Nissan has a good one.

    Red Bull is the best of the rest and if they were not let down by their engine supplier they would be up with the Mercs. Too bad because I like Lewis and this gives a bit a smudge to his WDC this year. This is because it appears there are a large number of drivers that could get the silver arrows to the WDC WCC. Unlike last year where a specific set of skills was needed to get the most out of the car this is more akin to drag racing where it is all about the power.

    Meantime I saw a great interview with Lewis. What genuinely great guy he is as he appreciated and marveled at his fans and reception in Spain. Good for him making the right decision and leaving Macca.

    1. Daniel Coutanche says:

      Renault has contributed to ten drivers world championships 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. A little harsh I think.

      1. mrstone says:

        I think this list should be: 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

        11 in total

        Too early for to call for 2014 :)

      2. F1interested says:

        I don’t think Renault has contributed to the driver world championship 2014.

      3. rad_g says:

        No? They’re not chasing Mercedes. That’s a contribution.

    2. JF says:

      A bit harsh on Renault but I get your point. I think that Merc has done an exceedingly good job rather than the others doing a poor job necessarily. It will be somewhat of a hollow championship with Hamilton being the likely victor of a two horse race. That said the guy is in top form, he will show what the car can do. Maybe 2015 will be good!

    3. C63 says:

      @Mhilgtx
      Unlike last year where a specific set of skills was needed to get the most out of the car this is more akin to drag racing where it is all about the power….

      You must be kidding, the cars are way harder to drive this season and require far more skill. They did some comparisons of some of the corners at Barcelona on Sky today. Last season the cars were glued to the track and the drivers almost ignored the bends, this year they were fighting the cars at the same places.

      1. F1interested says:

        Do you think Alonso and Raikkonen are more than a second slower than Hamilton and Rosberg based on driver skills alone?

      2. C63 says:

        @F1interested
        I didn’t say they were. I merely took exception to the comment suggesting that last years cars were harder to drive. The Mercedes is undoubtedly far superior to the Ferrari which enables Hamilton to exploit the cars potential and pull out the gap – but it ain’t just BHP combined with point and squirt.

      3. Tickety-boo says:

        Yep, but in the USA it’s all about ‘point and squirt’ – when that’s your benchmark for determining skill then you can understand…..

      4. Dave C says:

        Are you a top racing driver? Do you know how to get the last few tenths out of a car on rails? So is last year’s F1 cars easier to drive on the absolute limit than a low grip road car just because it seems a handful?

      5. C63 says:

        @Dave C
        No I am not a top racing driver, not a racing driver of any sort.
        I do, however, listen to what people who know have to say. They are all in agreement that this season the cars are harder to drive and require more skill and driver input than before [in high downforce configuration].
        If you don’t believe what the experts say, perhaps you can answer a question for me. If the cars were harder to drive last season, then why can’t the driver who drove best in that configuration get on top of this seasons car? Surely if it were harder last season then it should be a cakewalk for him this season.

      6. kingszito says:

        +1

        This is the season in the recent memories a driver skill is needed to drive F1 car. All the drivers are fighting with their cars throughout a lap to put a good lap time together and the better drivers are managing that well.

    4. David in Sydney says:

      Yes, PAG or Toyota, either in their name or in the name of a front company (a few Chinese companies would be pleased to learn from the experience), or dare I suggest BMW, should be building a trial F1 engine right now… the tech in a 1 litre 3 cylinder is future road going spec.

    5. Kris says:

      Smudges, as you call them, don’t last long in the history of any sport. At the time, you could add a smudge to almost any championship if you were looking to do so. At the end of the day, a championship is a championship. Even if you have the best car, you have to go out and prove it, which isn’t always a given, as McLaren found in 2007 and RedBull almost found in 2010 and 2012.

      I do, however, agree with much of what you say about Renault. Christian Horner openly talked about how strange it was that Renault was so behind given that they had pushed so hard for this change in regulations. Being behind if you knew the regulations were something you were against is something, but pushing for the regulations stronger than anybody else and then getting them wrong is pretty embarrassing.

  4. Carbonated says:

    Noticed VET and RIC had about the same qualy time in Q2 despite the fact VET didn’t get many laps in this weekend.

    Too early to tell if it means anything but could VET be getting a handle on the car as RAI seems to be doing at Ferrari?

    If he starts to out drive and finish ahead of RIC consistently, it will prove something about his abilities to adapt as the car is not to his liking – same as KR.

    Maybe all the talk about him being lucky for the past 4 years was a bit premature and many of us will eat holy crow.

    Not a fan of his, but wouldn’t bet against him. Definitely a brat but he knows how to win.

    1. Guybrush Threepwopd says:

      Errrrrr, Ricciardo was almost half a second faster than Vettel in Q2…..

    2. kieran says:

      That new chassis may help his lap times too.

    3. TGS says:

      RIC was almost half a second up in Q2, much closer in Q1 though with Vettel ahead.

      1. Petem says:

        Free practise times aside there are many variables in each others set up, some work some don’t hence the apparent time differences. I don’t read much into it other than a cumulative of testing between team mates to try and find the best setup and sometimes that will bring about large time variances. Having said that 5tenths is a very considerable margin in the same car. Here’s hoping Dan slaps his car smack in the middle of Hamilton and Rosberg. Now that will be entertaining as Dans not one to hold back and has proved he can mix it in traffic. I’m hoping for a podium for him he deserves it no question.

      2. sid says:

        Vettel said he was shooting for p3 which means he was confident of matching Ric’s times… Maybe he didn’t push all that hard in q2…

    4. Dave C says:

      Well Ric had to do more laps in Q2 on another set of fresh tyres to be safe and yes in the end that 1:26.3 for Ric was not very impressive for the car they have.

  5. goferet says:

    For sure even with double points the championship doesn’t look promising for the rest of the field as thanks to the engineering talent at Mercedes, the advantage just got bigger and not smaller.

    Add to that, the rival engines lacking a fair amount of horse power makes the job twice as hard.

    To make matters worse, the Mercedes team appears to have pretty reliable cars making the prospect of even scoring wins by the others three times as hard.

    And lets not forget that at Red Bull, the only proven winner is Vettel who is currently going through a patch of bad luck making the mission four times as hard.

    So yes, for anybody to even entertain the thought of sneaking a win past Mercedes will need a huge slice of luck to go their way or at least a wet race to somehow throw Mercedes off their stride.

    1. Ace says:

      I totally forgot about the double points… Such if the dominance of Mercedes.
      Red bulls true strength comes at the latter stages of the season when they’re able to push the development of the car. We’ve seen this in specifically 2012 and 2013. Then again I may be kidding myself and this season is well and truly decided.
      So key things to look for this season is the Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rivalry, how well Riccardo performs against Vettel, and whether Fernando Alonso has had enough of Ferrari’s inability to provide him with a competitive race and championship winning car. But then the intriguing question is whether he’ll be off to Mclaren. Look for another Eddie Jordan exclusive. On Alonso.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Ace

        Alonso back to Mclaren would be one of those earth shattering events you never thought you would see in your lifetime.

      2. Ace says:

        Possibly…but we’ve had a few in the past few years…the way hamilton won 2008 WDC, Brawn GP winning the titles in 2009, Michael Schumacher returns, Lewis Hamilton leaves Mclaren to go to Mercedes despite saying he’ll never leave Mclaren after winning his WDC, Raikkonen back at Ferrari after his acrimonious “sacking”. Strange things have happened in F1 before, why stop now ;)

      3. F1interested says:

        Ron will never take him back. He cost him a $100m bill to the FIA.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      I agree, on pure dry weather race pace that Brackley silver dream machine will be hard to beat – and the torque of the Merc engine exiting slow corners is visually superior to the Renault power unit.
      Having said that, you never know, when Lewis and Nico are trying to lap a certain South American driver called Pastor they could come unstuck………….remember Montoya being rammed out of Brazil when trying to lap Jos the Boss?
      Or, and this is a possibility, Lewis and Nico could ram into each other…..not on purpose, just accidentally so to speak……..
      Personally, I can’t wait for the first wet race of the season, that will be possibly the only truly unpredictable race of the year, but that is incumbent on the big man in the sky……

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        PS Wasn’t that a mega lap from the Romain empire! Could Lotus have a decent chassis after all that can do some good business this Euro/Canada season?

      2. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Yes it was.

        It’s very encouraging to see that Romain empire hasn’t lost any of his speed with the new cars.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Yes even at it’s most predictable, sport remains unpredictable at it’s core.

      4. F1interested says:

        Indeed, reminds me of vet and web crashing in Turkey, or ham and but in Canada, though on that occasion mclaren still won.

        Interesting you mentioned Montoya, Maldonado somehow reminds me of him. Will he be thrown out of F1 midseason like they did with the Colombian?

    3. JF says:

      It’s a two horse race from here forward. That merc is an awesome beast, and Ham will make the most of it.

      1. goferet says:

        @ JF

        I agree.

        Dream cars like this don’t come around often.

    4. David in Sydney says:

      Let’s party like it’s 1935… M-B will win most if not all races this year… it might be possible that HAM breaks the record for the most wins in one season…

      Wonderful stuff. This if Formula 1. Forget your whacky races with DRS and mandatory tyre stops – when man and machine are one there’s no gimmick that will stand in their way.

      Oh yes, and I feel sorry for ROS, but HAM is the class act of the season. He should retire at the end of this year and go make (bad) rap records.

  6. Jonathan C says:

    The only way I can currently see that happening is if one of the Red Bull cars doesn’t brake at the first corner, wipes out the two Mercedes, thereby giving the other Red Bull a chance to win…

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yes Vettel and Ricciardo will be pleading with Horner for the chance to volunteer for that one ;)

      Seriously, all they have to do is:

      A – Call a meeting with all the teams (sans Mercedes).

      B – Have everyone agree to a plan which is…

      C – At the start everyone pulls over to let Maldonado through, he takes out both Mercs (a cake-walk for a man of his talents) and then the rest can fight over the scraps.

      1. Emanuel Martin says:

        But then he would need to catch them first. Much better would to pay the Lotus crew to call Pastor in for a very early stop and accidentally release him after some staged trouble right into the paths of the Mercs, where he could combine the power of his anger and talent to take care of those silver cars.

        Just kidding of course.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Nice modification – You’re officially invited to the next meeting :)

      3. Aneesh says:

        Superb plan with one small problem : Maldonado will most probably crash into the barriers before he crashes into the Mercs :P

      4. Random 79 says:

        Lol true :)

      5. Nator says:

        Maybe all the other teams can surround the Mercedes pit crew during a pit stop and wave things in their faces and yell expletives to put them off.

      6. H says:

        LIKE! James, you should have a like button on here!

      7. All revved-up says:

        Ha ha. Enjoyed this.

        Maldonado is moving to the next level – taking cars out is nothing to him. He’s now taking on . . . The Wall.

      8. Random 79 says:

        Pink Floyd would be proud :)

      9. Glennb says:

        My understanding is that this meeting has already taken place, shortly after qualifying. The outcomes from the meeting are still sketchy but MAL did leave with a big smile on his face ;)

      10. Random 79 says:

        There’s nothing quite like the look on the face of a guy who’s about to fulfill his destiny :)

  7. StevenM says:

    It’s outrageous to me the fact that teams thought they would catch up. All these teams should know that noone stands still in F1. It’s not like Merc will wait for the other teams to catch up. ..

    1. Random 79 says:

      They might…just to tease them a bit ;)

    2. Jonathan C says:

      Indeed, and back on April 21st, James wrote “Mercedes has work to do too, but it is closer to the maximum now than its rivals so there will be diminishing returns as the season goes on.”

      I wasn’t convinced then. Considering they’ve managed to maintain, if not increase, the gap so far I don’t see much evidence of these diminishing returns yet. But time will tell.

    3. kieran says:

      Uhhh….where is this fact may I ask? Don’t just believe everything that people say during interviews. I’m sure every team knew even pre-pre-season testing, that Mercedes would run away with it – remember Sebastian’s team radio talks after winning races in 2013: ‘We may never get another chance like this’. The battle is for P2 in the WCC.

    4. Kay-Gee says:

      It was very funny to me when Christian Horner actually thought they were within 5/10 to 6/10 of a second closer to the Mercs. I didn’t believe it for a bit, They’d have to use sorcery to gain that much so fast with such tight regulations.

      1. Andrew M says:

        If anyone can find a bit if “sorcery” to get around technical regulations Red Bull can.

    5. David in Sydney says:

      I think the limited testing is a failed rule when one team has such a march on the others.

      Remember how incredible the 1998 McLaren was? Ferrari caught them up and were hot on their heels all the way through 1999.

  8. Pkara says:

    Too early to make such a statement.
    Think Mercedes is way ahead for Red Bull to catch.
    Only time will tell. Though Daniel is showing great skill in adapting to the new car.

    1. KRB says:

      He is. Also want to have it noted that I believe the pic used is the only one in existence where Ricciardo is not smiling.

      Maybe Daniel should take off his helmet on the run down to Turn 1 tomorrow, shine a bright beaming smile towards the Mercedes ahead peeling away, and totally blind them both with the reflection off their mirrors! :-)

  9. Pete C says:

    Have Merc showed their full hand yet ? Have they got more in the locker ?

    Is it impossible for the other Merc engined cars to take similar advantage of the benefits the engine brings or is it too much of a redesign of the entire package ?

    1. JF says:

      Merc doesn’t have to show their full hand. They can run at 80-90% and still make the field look like mule carts. Its more than just the engine, they made a great race car. And they have two solid drivers.

  10. Rufus says:

    When VETs car was working RIC was 4/10ths up.
    VETs chassis change was his call and a mistake made under pressure. That pressure comes from a fast and smiling assassin in RIC.
    I’m loving it.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      I think VET is looking for an answer to the new Aussie. He probably expected more of the same as WEB… but he forgot RIC was out of the same program as VET himself… the Red Bull program appears vicious but very effective.

    2. JF says:

      Too soon

    3. Random 79 says:

      And long may it continue :)

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      aha rufus….you mean the ‘honey badger’?

      1. Random 79 says:

        The Smiling Assassin is Alan Jones name for him – I kind of like it better :)

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ random79…..australians have a habit which i find rather twee. giving drivers[and anyone really] nick names is, IMO. cringe worthy.

        it may have been funny the first time but it becomes annoying after a while. the V8 supercar drivers are the worst,eg ‘the enforcer’, ‘the baby faced assassin’ et al.

        to compound that they continue to add Y to everything which is all rather childish eg ‘brocky’, ‘lowndsey’ and so on and on and on.

        these people have names, so why not use them? i sometimes call ricciardo ‘ricci’ because i am too lazy to continually type his full name but that is a but different from what i am saying.

    5. Carbonated says:

      Dreamer

  11. Davej says:

    IMO other teams are better giving up this season early and throwing most of their resources into next year’s car already. Ferrari is approx 1.5s back, Red Bull is about a 1s on ultimate pace and race pace sims during practice and in previous races have been similar in the past few races. Hence, trying to make that up will probably take most of the season IMO and unless Merc implode spectacularly it’s most likely not going to happpen.

    1. kieran says:

      The cars in 2015 will, essentially be a development of the current cars. Even at the end of this season, no team (including Mercedes) will have a firm grip combining their hybrid PU/ overall car.

    2. JF says:

      Merc won’t implode.They don’t have to run anywhere near maximum to destroy the field, that car is a masterpiece. Considering they don’t have to push all out, reliability should be in their favour.

  12. davexxx says:

    Haven’t heard the name “Adrian Newey” being mentioned for a long time… I assume he’s ‘working on’ trying to improve the car? Has he been seen lately?

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Newey doesn’t build engines. A car without an engine is nothing. An engine without a car is nothing. Renault has dropped the ball big time (as has the engine maker of all engine makers, Ferrari).

    2. Glennb says:

      He goes and watches Webber race now.

    3. C63 says:

      He turned up at Silverstone a few weeks back to watch Webber (I think).
      I would be cautious of writing off Newey just yet. A man with such prodigious talent as his, does not fall over quite so easily.

  13. Ahmed says:

    And danny boy was quick to point a finger at merc during pre-season testing and say that they(merc) are 1second off th pace

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ ahmed… did ricci actually say that? can you post the link so that i can read, thanks

      1. Ahmed says:

        Buddy, as far as the interview read, yes that is what he said. I don’t have th link but if u sift through the http://www.grandprix247.com pre-seasin archives I’m sure u will be able to find it

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ahmed…so we just take your word for it?

  14. Quade says:

    I wonder if Red Bull is now scavenging Vettels car for Ricciardo’s spares? Its what they did to Webber when he was slower.

    1. JF says:

      Webber was just slower. He never got in tune with the previous generation of cars better or worse. Ricciardo may be faster than Vettel, he may not be, will take a couple of seasons to make that judgement.

    2. Chrisralph says:

      Then whoever takes an unlikely win could say “not bad for a number two driver”…

    3. C63 says:

      Much as I am enjoying Vettels trial and tribulations (and I am enjoying them immensely)I have to say it is all rather strange. How has he fallen from grace so quickly? I know he had a rocket ship of a car these last few seasons, but he is no slouch – yet he does not appear to be able to get on top of this seasons car at all, in addition he is being comfortably bested by his junior teammate. Who would have imagined it.
      I guess he just isn’t as good as people thought!

  15. GuyPV says:

    The thinking was that Mercedes had already gained the most from the chassis and the hybrid engine. Therefore, the expectation was the gains were going to be less. Co

  16. GarryT says:

    Vettel said in his interview he would have qualified third, I am not so certain of that he has been on back foot to RIC all weekend Q2 showed RIC was the quicker.

    1. KRB says:

      Don’t think he said that. He said 3rd was the target for him. Big difference.

  17. kieran says:

    The ultimate target for every team is to maximise the full potential of their car….its not to target the fastest car. If you do that, then you’ll almost always be in that second spot.

  18. Paige says:

    Look, Mercedes’ biggest advantage is the layout of their power unit, with the bipolar layout of the turbine and compressor. Given that the engine are homologated, the others can’t copy this layout for the rest of the year. This provides an unbelievable advantage, and they will have it the rest of the year. Along the way, they can focus on aero improvements, which they have shown they can make. And they have arguably the quickest driver in the sport in absolutely top form, and another driver who is leading the points and taking second every race, so their drivers are performing as well as possible.

    This is the year that one team wins every race.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Has that ever happened before?

      Either way, it would still be a remarkable (albeit boring) achievement.

  19. Ian James says:

    While Mercedes is clearly well placed to win the manufacturer’s and driver’s titles this year, I think we need to remember that we’ve only had 4 rounds of 19 and that the last race has double points. So, if RBR/Renault somehow manage to lift their game AND Mercedes has a few bad rounds, the gap could easily close. Although, for RBR to win (either championship) this year, both would have to occur and that certainly looks unlikely.

    Renault is doubtless working 25 hours a day and night right now to get more grunt from their power unit. The French outfit has been at the very top of F1 for so many of their 37 years in the sport that it is really surprises me that they are needing to play catch-up in 2014. Whether they can do so, within the homologation rules, will be intriguing to watch. But, they need to do it very soon. In any event, I’m sure Porsche and Honda are watching things closely!

    In the meantime, we’ll continue to have these processional, boring races with these low (10,500 rpm) revving, embarrassingly quiet sounding, unnecessarily fuel flow limited, 1.6 litre hybrid turbo machines.

    The passion has gone from F1 this year and the crowds will soon start voting with their feet. In fact, they already have, with large numbers of 2014 spectators unlikely to return in 2015. And, when the crowds stop coming, the television deals will come under pressure as well.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  20. Klaas says:

    I’m getting Fed up with F1 at the moment! After dull and utterly boring seasons like 2011 and the 2nd part of 2013, we were all eagerly waiting for 2014. It would throw up the formbook they said, it will produce exciting racing they said! The only Thing I like about F1 2014 is that we have another winner besides Vettel! Ok, it has altered the formbook a bit, but we are watching non races where one care is Miles faster than anyone, Jeez It’s depressing to see such a big advantage! The last 13 races have been won by 3 different drivers, how depressing is that? We want to see a competition, not a who’s the best of the rest show! No wonder the Alericans hate it, it’s boring as hell!!! F1 has fallen deep in my humble opinion and I didn’t even mention the fact that most of the Cars are UGLY as hell, sound horrible and are WAY TOO SLOW!!! Yeah 2014, it’s a cracker, wait for it, letdown!!!!

  21. F1interested says:

    By the end of 2016 Hamilton will be a 4 time Champion like Vettel and Alonso will eat humble pie.

  22. Jake says:

    RICCIARDO: WINS

    Yep, won’t be long.

  23. kenneth chapman says:

    now that vettel has to start from 15th on the grid will we see him emulate ricciardo’s efforts when he copped a penalty of ten places and had to start in 13th with a finishing place in fourth [within a whisker of third]

    will vettel rise to the occasion and finish up fifth/sixth? i have made an allowance there to compensate vettel for being two places further back hahaha

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      ooops,sorry chaps, i meant to add that, ‘for a 4 x WDC it should be something of a doozie’.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Lol I think that’s abit harsh given the characteristics of this circuit.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        yes, vettel made up the places and drove a very good race. equal to ricciardo’s. vettel still ahead in the points though.

    2. KRB says:

      Well, no doubt harder to overtake in Spain rather than Bahrain, and Vettel’s speed trap numbers make it even less likely. I think if he gets around 7th or 8th (assuming no retirements ahead), he’ll have done well.

    3. 69bhp says:

      Wow Kenneth looks like Vettel read your post

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        he’s probably the only one…..except you of course.

  24. Ahmed says:

    The saddest thing about the current state of f1 is not the domination of one team, smaller and softer engines,ban on re-fuelling, brittle tires etc… Its the fact that a driver can compete at the pinnacle of motorsport and fight amongst some really great drivers simply because he brings a deep pocket of cash with him… Over the years there have been many “pay-drivers”… We have perez for example, not th greatest driver but he puts on a good show every now and again… Lauda was also a “pay-driver” and he turned out to be a 3 time world champ… Maldonado on th other hand is just a disgrace to drivers across the world. If memory serves me correct he has crashed his car at some point at every race weekend during ths season? Its no secret that he would not be in th sport unless he brought in all tht money

  25. Nick Deano says:

    RB winning races in 2014? Short of installing heat seeking missiles in their RB10′s is there anyone familiar with F1 who really believes that Red Bull have a chance of even a single victory in 2014?

  26. JohnH says:

    I don’t think anyone needs a crystal ball to see the likely results this year. I fully support the new technology and the racing between team mates is excellent. We still have one team head and shoulders above the rest though. Still too much performance difference between teams in my opinion, Hopefully it will close.

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