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Get your money on Red Bull for next weekend’s F1 Monaco Grand Prix?
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Monaco
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 May 2016   |  2:02 pm GMT  |  123 comments

Flushed with their unexpected victory in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, Red Bull Racing can be forgiven for feeling some optimism for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

Although the emphasis in Monte Carlo is on the chassis nimbleness and driver skill more than the engine power, the long awaited upgrade to the Renault engine looks set to move it closer to Mercedes, which is also good news for some of the races that follow.

Red Bull has not won the Monaco race since 2012, the second of Mark Webber’s victories there, while Ferrari has not won Monaco since 2001. Both are challenging Mercedes’ recent dominance and the running of the updated Renault engine over the last two days in testing at Barcelona gives further grounds for optimism. Renault has been targeting an improvement of 0.4s from the upgraded engine, which is a very big number when it comes to engine performance, equivalent to over 50bhp.

Renault F1

Ricciardo was 0.680s behind Mercedes in qualifying in Spain and 0.505s behind in China last month. However the figure in race pace terms is closer to 0.4s, so that upgrade could put them close.

Renault management have not confirmed that they will run the new engine in Monaco; they have to assess the feasibility of introducing it earlier than planned on what is a very specific type of circuit. Canada, the next race, is certainly going to be a race where the extra power and driveability will be a bonus, with its long straights and acceleration moments out of low speed chicanes. Austria is also a power circuit.

The key indicators for the Monaco Grand Prix in terms of chassis performance are the final sector at Barcelona, with the low speed chicane. In qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, pole sitter Lewis Hamilton set a time of 28.736s through Sector 3, while Daniel Ricciardo’s best for Red Bull was 28.931s, a delta of 0.195s.

Mercedes are still confident that they have the best chassis in F1 currently, as well as the best engine, but there is no doubt that Red Bull has made strides with both and Ricciardo said at the weekend that there was a palpable sense of excitement at the team, after a difficult 2015 season in which the team failed to win a race for the first time since 2008.

Daniel Ricciardo

“You can be sure that Max and I will both be ragging it in Monaco,” said the Australian.

The strategy looks likely to be a one-stop again in Monaco, despite the first appearance of Pirelli’s new ultra soft tyre. The time and track position loss of making a second stop far outweighs the degradation of performance as tyres fade over a long stint. So qualifying will be crucial and the Red Bull is good at looking after its tyres.

Ricciardo got a good jump on Max Verstappen in qualifying in Spain, by adding in a couple of turns of front wing for his final run, something Verstappen was not aware possible as such a move would have destabilised the Toro Rosso. He has had some more time to learn the car this week with a day’s testing, but he’ll still be improvising next week in Monaco.

Meanwhile Ricciardo has today come out with a series of tweets putting the disappointment of Barcelona behind him and congratulating Verstappen on his win.

Daniel Ricciardo

The updated engine ran in the Renault and badged as TAG Heuer in the Red Bull chassis at the Barcelona test on Tuesday and Wednesday with positive results. Rival teams question whether the improvement is as much as 0.4s but admit that the signs are that there is a gain of several tenths.

Renault admit that they took some wrong directions in evolving the hybrid turbo engine, after three wins in the inaugural 2014 season with Ricciardo. Renault sources suggest that one of the root causes of their relative weakness in the early years of hybrid was the reduction in headcount at the engine base in Viry-Chatillon when Flavio Briatore was in charge of Renault F1 operations in 2009, at the time when KERS hybrid system was being developed. He wanted the expertise in electrification and energy harvesting to be at the chassis headquarters in Enstone.

Conversely Mercedes built on its work at its engine base in Brixworth, making it a centre of excellence for hybrid technology, batteries and high density electric motors. Those missing years and difficulty of hiring talented engineers to work in Paris, have cost Renault, and it was not able to invest enough and early enough to recover.

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123 comments

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1

I think Red Bull will be very strong in Monaco. Row 2 looks a good bet. Lewis and Nico go well there, so I still expect them to lock out the front row. We tend to forget that the W07 is actually a very good chassis and only think of Engine power when we talk about Mercedes. It goes to show the great work that team has done over the last 2 years both with engine and chassis. They're not weak on any track, just that their advantage is smaller on certain tracks. Ferrari should be more weary of Red Bull from now on. It will get tougher for them, it certainly won't be a game of ping-pong.
James, could you try and take a stab at what the pecking order will be at Monaco?

2

My observation is that the Merc chassis is made to look better than it actually is by their power advantage. In simple terms they have, say, a 100 bhp advantage of which they sacrifice 50 bhp in additional downforce (ie; drag), leaving them still with a 50 bhp advantage. When the, say, 100 bhp advantage is only 50 bhp, as is likely very soon, that will show the chassis in its true light. My view is the Red Bull chassis is easily the best, followed by the Ferrari then the McLaren, with Merc and Torro Rosso very close. This is based on the sector times were mechanical grip is premium and not so much dependant on downforce.
Plainly why Merc refused to supply Red Bull with engines, they know the true state of where their chassis ranks in that comparison.

3

I'm not convinced at all, Mercedes have had such a huge advantage over Red Bull at "chassis" circuits (both low and high downforce) and especially at Monaco, where a power advantage is at its least, it's not like they've just been scraping ahead. In lots of the other "dominant" seasons (Schumi in 2002/04, Vettel in 2013*) another car has managed to sneak through and take the win at Monaco, whereas during the Mercedes era they've rolled everyone at Monaco. Clearly the Red Bull chassis is very good and held back by Renault, but I'd put my money on Mercedes in a straight chassis-fight any day, their margin is just so large over the field.

*Vettel won in 2011, but he got very lucky because McLaren messed up Button's strategy and there was a safety car.

4

Schumacher had some freak accident in the tunnel in 2004, he would have won easily otherwise.

5

That's not true, he was behind Trulli (who also took pole) and Alonso in the race, and was only in the lead when he crashed because Alonso had also crashed out and Trulli had pitted under the safety car - even if he had enough fuel in the car to pull enough time to pit and keep the lead, he hadn't demonstrated that pace all weekend, the chances of him winning were negligible.

6

You may be right.I have never accepted the Mercedes, as the so called 'most dominant cars on the hostory of F1'. Newey's
Redbulls were faster cars.How many times do we hear the engineers come on radio ,and tell vettel to slow down.The lack of competition, between vettel & Webber, has to mean,alot of the redbull's real pace was not shown. Also, other teams may have been competitive with the Redbulls at times,but once Newey delivered his devastating developments,the redbull disappears,like a bull on cheetah's legs.

7

Seriously.. The RB that was 'faster' than the Mercedes after 8 different winners in first 8 races. ????????????

8

Agreed. McLaren has a better chassis than the Williams at least.

9

"We tend to forget that the W07 is actually a very good chassis and only think of Engine power when we talk about Mercedes."

I think it's more a case of the engine being so powerful that they can drape heaps of downforce on the car and the power will make up for the extra drag. Red Bull often do the opposite.

10

I agree Nick .....more hp means more options.

11

Red Bull "chassis" has a lot of downforce - grid best. That is why they are able to run with smaller rear wing configuration on most tracks. That gives them a straight line speed advantage as evidenced in Spain. I also remember last year they almost ran with a Monza spec rear wing (no flap) in Spa. Incredible achievement.

12

Yep, you get the feeling that the Merc engine isn't turned all the way up either and the 0.4s / 50bhp mentioned above is something it can easily accommodate. Still, Monaco is going to be very interesting to watch.

13

I agree.

Also people who have been trackside say the RB is amazing in the corners, whilst the Merc is pure grunt.

14

Still Merc will blow everybody away. The rage and fury btw Nico and Lewis is currently propelling their speed to the unprecedented heights. And I think their chassis+engine combination gives unbeatable traction out of the slowest corners.

But I have to admit, this dutch boy may rock aussie one more time... Ric to Ferrs for 2017? Vettel looks unconvincingly this year, so why not put him out of the comfort zone?

15

Apart from the fact the general concensus amongst the F1 paddock is that the RB is better than the Merc in Slow corners......

16

I only heard the opposite - RB is mighty through the fast corners where aero-package strength is more obvious. In slower Merc is and will be unbeatable

17

In the races where he hasn't had a DNS or DNF, he has looked pretty convincing to me.

18

Did anything come of the rumored Illien upgrade to the Tag unit in the Red Bull?

19

Illien are working directly with Renault.

20

Mario Illien is a person. A renowned Engine Engineer
Illmore is the company.

21

It's Ilmor. Founded by Mario Illien and the late Paul Morgan.

22

and Ilmor was bought by Mercedes and became their f1 engine dept.

23

It's a bit mistaken to write off Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel's chances. SV did win at Singapore (last year) on a tight bumpy street circuit with it's raised ride height and soft suspension set up, and if anything the pushrod front suspension on this year's SF16-H is even more compliant and supple over the kerbs and bumps (witness the first stint at Melbourne).

24

Yes someone is very good on the ultra softs too. Merc might em even over 1 lap too so sat could be interesting. Otherwise its handbags at high noon..

25

"Cook 'em"

26

The issue in Singapore was apparently the heat - the same heat that hurt Ferrari in Barcelona during qualifying. Monaco will never be as hot or humid as Singapore so the chance of Mercedes suffering are slim. The Mercedes to me is the Goldilocks of the 2015 season - not too hot and not cold, it just produces performance to match any opposition. All this talk about RBR and Ferrari is driven by that stupid crash caused by two drivers who knew that whoever finished the first lap ahead would most likely win the race. I think the decision to use Pascal in testing was Toto's way of reminding BOTH drivers they had better get their game in order.

27

But didn't Nico also do the test?

28

How does the saying go? Always bet on silver?

29
Smithfield 109

I thought it was always bet on black? well at least when playing black jack.

30

Here's another saying - Don't count your chickens....

31

After Spain,In think you mean don't count your hams.

32

Max on for a second win.

if last year was anything to go by Max is going to magic happen around Monaco.

33

I feel sad for all the Ricciardo fans.
they all in denial lol!

What happened to Vettel in 2014 is about to happen to Ricciardo this year.

its in evitable ppl should just accept it. 🙂

34

:O DENIAL Ricciardo??? there will be no denying him!! 😀 He is still the benchmark to beat for Max throughout the season.

Also, however much 'attached' a fan may feel to him, none are 'IN' Denial!

35

Yep...when RBR decide to put DR on two stops while he's leading...leaving Max in the lead on a one stopper.

36

Uhm, he crashed into the barrier at St. Devote.

37

He also pulled off a couple of sensational overtakes like the one on Bottas around the outside of Mirabeau Bas something no one has done in the modern era.

No to mention his lap he pulled of in free prac to finish second behind Hamilton.

38

"Uhm, he crashed into the barrier at St. Devote"....
After hitting Grosjean.
My understanding is the kid never apologised for that.

39

Yes, even when the telemetry proved that Grosjean hadn't braked earlier than the previous lap, as Max claimed, he still denied responsibility for the crash. I understand that as an F1 driver you need to have great belief in yourself, but there's a difference between that and outright delusion

40

He did mumble a whispered 'Sorry' to his Car -_-

41

All that is very interesting and good news.
Tho yet another "in yo face" for Ferrari.
Even if Ferrari were to benifit from ANYONE taking the fight up to the Mercs. Any car that's in a fight loses time. Plus lets not forget that the chanse for DNF's/"racing incidents" etc increase. So just get someone in there and the whole pack closes up together. I hope it happens in 2016 !

42

SomRenault haven't won since 2008 - Well they still haven't won since 2008! Bet they are not happy that the win goes down to TAG. Maybe they shouldn't have been so thin skinned about RBRs comments last year that the dog of an engine was a dog of an engine.

43

Can we reasonably extrapolate a Red Bull chassis on par with Mercedes?
Yes, and it could be better under some conditions.
Monaco is better for the technically more skilled drivers AND the ones with emotional momentum, 'on the bubble'.
If Renault can get their upgraded engine in the Red Bull for Monaco, you have to estimate their chances similarly to Mercedes and ahead of Ferrari.
Mercedes: internal strife and a distinct pause in momentum; distrust across the garage may well be infecting the entire operation, at some level. But they still have potentially leading machinery.
Note: not that 'desparate' is exactly the right word, but Lewis must lay down the gauntlet in Monaco; many people agree with me that from the pure in-car driving skill measure, Lewis has, up until very recently, dominated since arriving at Mercedes. On a track purportedly favouring better driver skills, he must beat Nico!
Ferrari: suffered a gash to their mojo by NOT winning in Spain, with Mercedes imploding at corner3-4, and suffering defeat at the hands of the uberkind on the block, The Max!
Standing up admirably to every knife-edged shooting star kharma wave in all of Formula One history, Max certainly has the momentum.
But his arrival and immediate success has undoubtedly upset the balance within Red Bull, clearly having favoured the Ricciardo camp since 2014; he has been displaced as the beautiful, and talented 'new kid on the block', and much more than the loss to Sebastian Vettel of his youngest race winner record, this fundamental change in Daniel Ricciardo's status in F1 has got to hurt.
So there could be 'issues' at Red Bull.

But one last note on a bit of a momentum wave: Ferrari, Kimi:
I get the feeling that this is someone, 'who knows what he is doing'.
Pay attention betters, maybe the best way to go is to lay down a maker on all three.

44

Repeat 2007. The fastest car drivers fight each other out and then Kimi steals the crown. Dream on...

45

Got a sneaky fiver each way on Alonso and Button...

46
simon mawdsley

you can still get 10-1 on the RBR drivers

47

You're braver than me but i hope you win !

48

Not a bad shout the mclaren chassis isn't terrible by any stretch

49

McLaren do seem pretty confident in their chassis, don't they... You could be on to something there...

50

They build a zero aero chassis around a small engine that is growing every race 😉
So, no the power is increasing but the limits are in sight

51

Even if it's indeed true that only Ricciardo will get the new Renault, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Max wins this one. Brimming with confidence, more experienced after a couple days of testing, he could do it.

52

Still Merc for the win at Monaco. Red Bull got a win and a fourth out of what should have been a third and a sixth thanks to Lewis and Nico's over exuberance. Even on a tight circuit like Monaco the Merc still has the power and the grip to leave the rest behind, they won't headbutt each other two races running.

53

The Way contracts are going.. I wont be surprised if Nico feels fool hardy enough to not really care again about Lewis being in the mirror 😀

54

Monaco will be a battle between Nico and Ricciardo, in my opinion.

Max was a bit scrappy here last year but maybe he's improved since? I don't see Lewis having a good weekend here going by how his past weekends have been.

So my safe money is Nico or Daniel.

55
Clarks4WheelDrift

I predict someone in the top six will hit the wall in qually 😉

56

one RBR splits Merc..daniel wins the race..Ferrari's top someone will be left red faced (3rd time again)..wondering shd I replace whole freaking team or commit suicide!!

57

Only Daniel(RB) and Kevin(renault) will run the upgraded engine in Monaco. Max and Jolyon will still run the "old" engine.

58

We might assume that but if Renault really want to maximise their chances of beating Mercedes on level terms which just might be possible at Monaco then they might give RB two new motors since even with a good improvement, their own car is not looking a potential winner.

59
Lakerfoureyes

They're short of spare parts apparently?

60

Really hope Renault improves as it will help the show. Ferrari seems to be lost again and more pressure is coming. Honda....well, no hope, right?

61
Seán Craddock

I'm amazed that Ferrari haven't won at Monaco since 2000. That just seems unfathomable given their level of success in the early to late '00s. Can't imagine there are many tracks that they've gone without a win in 15 attempts.

James, with the introduction of updates like this, how does that effect the allocation of power units? If the one used in Spain, say, has to be used for four races or so, and they need to run it again, will that mean the teams will have to run the previous version, sans updates at some point later in the season?

62

Think that must be 2001 actually ... (according to wikipedia)

63

They use up tokens, but they can still use the previous engine for practice sessions etc

64

James, when they tested this "NEW" upgraded Renault engine in the Spanish TESTs - considering only one car is used per team.. WHICH Drivers PU was this? Or does in-season testing session Power Units not count towards the allocated 5?

If the above is true James, then I wonder if these same two power Units used by RB and Renault will be the ones that get allocated to the drivers in the next race as parts supply lead is always at a premium? - In this case.. these Test engines having run for 8+8 hour sessions over two days is the equivalent of almost 3 Grand Prix Weekends?

65

Do you think we might actually get that rarest of things - a Monaco GP that is watchable? Or even.....exciting? It could happen! I desperately hope it happens, anyway.

66

From last years race, transpose Max from Torro Rosso to a Red Bull, and instead of Romain, imagine Hamilton. THAT would be an exciting race. What an onboard shot that was last year right before th crash! The sound and visuals made me almost fall off my chair.

67

I'm afraid there is a lot more heart break coming the way of our crest-fallen Ricciardo.
Max does not seem to have learnt the phrase, "Second Best" and it will be Max who scoops up what ever goodies are coming RB's way.

Also maybe Ric will refrain from his ballsy style of collision causing [or overtaking as Dan likes to call it] But if last years' stewards are back officiating this year then he probably can run into other cars with impunity. Hoorah.

68

Crap. We all know if Ric gets the 2 stopper last race he wins. Please tell us has Ric ever taken another driver out of a race? He races fair, fast and tough and in many people's opinion the best driver on the grid.

69

I think you will be very wrong about the Honey Badger...

70

What could make it interesting is the weather! Currently the forecast for the Friday and Saturday is looking lovely - no rain but hot sun (23 degrees), however that changes for Sunday afternoon, down to 19 degrees and light rain. Still time for that to change, but a wet/damp Monaco could make it very interesting.

71
Carlos Marques

Is it really true that only Ricciardo will get the new Renault engine?

The way I see it- RB locks the front row, and then something goes wrong with the brand new engine to gift Max with his second victory in a row. Just a theory- may be worth a few dollars...

72

The Scuderia need James Allison back. I hope his personal circumstances will allow him to return to his post before long.
In spite of all forecasts, Ferrari may just nab another podium here, or even two!

73

He has been back at work for several weeks

74

Your article is incorrect in that Ferrari last won Monaco in 2001 and not 2000 as the post states. In 2000 Schumacher retired while leading the race when his left rear suspension broke - I think he hit the barrier on the final corner.

75

Call me pessimistic...I don't see anyone beating the mercs this year unless there's a crash or a nuclear fall out...that merc is a bullet...and they always play with the settings like dangling a carrot in practice and then running away in the races...

James, I think the media needs to be fair in their assessment of the merc domination...Do you realistically see anyone beating the mercs through 'performance' on track this year? It doesn't seem like Ferrari are close infact they seem to have gone backwards...The sky commentators were blabbering the racing is so good in Spain nothing needs to be changed but they all forget to highlight that it was pretty much two equal cars fighting for the race win that's why it was a close race...If you had the two Mercs then it would be race for P3 and that's not exciting in anyone's eyes...
F1 needs engine equalization then only we will see closer competition...otherwise we will be seeing the silver train winning till the end of this hybrid era!

76

Mercedes are still confident that they have the best chassis in F1
-------------------------------------------

According to Autosport's analysis, they believe Red Bull has the best chassis and the difference in sector 3 at Barcelona between Lewis and Ricciardo could possibly be put down to driver skill

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/124354/ranking-the-f1-chassis-after-barcelona

As for Red Bull's chances at Monaco, I am not sure if the team will win considering the majority of Red Bull wins in 2014 were unexpected at tracks the team didn't expect to do well with the exception of Hungary 2014 >>> which was won thanks to the safety car timing

As for Renault's upgrade, Horner said it would bring them to Ferrari's zone and not Mercedes as Horner believed Mercedes had one more step in performance

77

Correction:
"Ferrari has not won Monaco since 2000"
Ferrari won Monaco in 2001.

78

Monaco is normally a snooze fest in terms of the actual racing but I am nevertheless excited about this years race. The Hamilton/Rosberg rivalry will be at full pitch and the Red Bull intra-team duel should be entertaining as well. Then there is Ferraris who will be desperate to not be outdone by Red Bull. Should be a good weekend even if the race turns into the typical procession.

79

Is there confirmation that Pirelli are bringing in on-track tyre pressure monitoring for Monaco, after rumours that teams are getting round their minimum pressure rules with rims letting out pressure on track?

Now, it emerges that the sport is fast-tracking a solution, with technology to monitor the pressures during the actual sessions ready to be rolled out in Monaco next weekend.

80
Stephen Taylor

James as a Kimi fan I have been waiting over 3 years for Kimi to break Hakkinen's Finnish national record for F1 wins . I have a feeling it's either going to happen next weekend or at Spa (Kimi's favourite circuit) later in the season. Even if Kimi never comes close to a WDC title again I want him to break that record.

81

They are equal in terms of wins? Right?
If so, how's Hakkinnen the record holder?
They have to be joint record holders. 🙂

82
Stephen Taylor

James you are incorrect . Ferrari last won at Monaco in 2001 . DC won for McLaren in 2000.

83

Renault may have 1 upgraded engine for both renault and red bull for Monaco.

Only 1 per team due to spare parts availability.

Who will red bull give the PU to? This will speak volumes.

84

Likely the driver that's currently in front on the championship (also for Renault)? That's what other websites are predicting at least..

85

If they have 2 upgraded PUs, why would they give one to Red Bull?
Merc use their upgraded PUs first, then sometime latter they trickle them down to customers.
The same goes for Ferrari, so why would Renault do any different?

86

"The strategy looks likely to be a one-stop again in Monaco, despite the first appearance of Pirelli’s new ultra soft tyre."

You never know but am sure if Ricciardo gets pole from Verstappen, there might be a plausible strategy using the ultra softs that Red Bull may consider for him to switch to

87

I think Mercedes is still and will be entire season on the league on their own, although on a specific circuit, they might have some hickups, just like they did last season.
Renault are saying all along that upgraded engine will be introduced in Canada, so I don't think they will rush it in Monaco.
Even without this upgrade, Red Bull is on par with Ferrari, even on a race trim, which was Ferrari's forte this year, so with upgraded PU I think Red Bull will be second fastest, still some margin behind Mercedes. Too bad that's true, I've been looking forward to someone to bring fight to Mercedes finally. We've had enough of walking in the park in last couple of seasons. 🙂
We even didn't have decent fights between Lewis and Nico, except from every now and then.
Bring it on Renault...it is about time. 🙂

88

When in doubt - blame Flavio Briatore 🙂

89

Flav is a soft target for what would have been a corporate level decision at Renault. Mind you, it feels odd to be supporting this guy!

90

Can we bet on Lewis crying on the podium again?

Is there odds for this anywhere?

91

“Ricciardo got a good jump on Max Verstappen in qualifying in Spain, by adding in a couple of turns of front wing for his final run, something Verstappen was not aware possible as such a move would have destabilised the Toro Rosso. He has had some more time to learn the car this week with a day’s testing, but he’ll still be improvising next week in Monaco.”

Seriously James, Verstappen’s race engineer would have known precisely the effect of “adding a couple of turns of front wing”. So either Verstappen didn’t listen to the advice of his race engineer or his race engineer didn‘t push the point hard enough. I picked it watching the 2 runs Ricciardo did in Q2, the second of which was unnecessary as he was already well inside the qualifying time for Q3. Unless he was trying a set up change with the intention of doing a single run in Q3. The car was understeering deep enough through the corner such that when power was applied it oversteered ie; understeer causing oversteer. If I had been in Verstappen’s or his engineer’s place I would have been all over whatever set up change came from Ricciardo’s additional run.
A driver’s trust in his race engineer and vice versa takes time, but this was a singular, very basic (especially in F1 terms) and easily demonstrable set up change. I’m surprised that even this early in the relationship there wasn’t enough mutual trust. Time will tell if it’s a personality trait or a one off scenario.

92

@Gary. Wow, that's quite a story! If it's true what you are saying, it must also be very likely that Max once refused to have milk in his tea, even though Horner insisted on it! Something must be very wrong at Red Bull... 😉

93
Lakerfoureyes

JA, any truth to the rumour that RB are working on a 2 stop strategy for RIC? 🙂

94

Suddenly, the fact that Riccardo had two punctures recently, may not be as innocent as "debris", if all this Tyre Pressure Cheat designs talks being floated around is of any consequence. If any team are brilliantly fast at reacting to any rules change.. its RedBull, but maybe they are getting too low on the pressure and too near the Pirelli Critical limit? Can you please find out James about which teams are being doubted? It cant be Ferrari as they seem lost and playing catch up to find clever tricks themselves.

95

I have heard different - the fastest way around Monaco is the 3 stopper, but it is a sectet and only Riciardo will use it

96

Given up on Ferrari, now it is time to say Red Bull can beat Merc to make F1 interesting and attract viewers in the weekend

97
GPBackToAdelaide

If RIC is leading after the first stops in Monaco, with VES in 2nd place, I sense he'll get switched on to a 2-stop strategy.

98

Whahaha... its funny how fast conspiracies emerge now Daniel has a battle on his hands... Max was faster in Spain, and will beat Daniel on a regularly base soon!

99

I rate Dan as I did Mark. Mark, well, it was hard watching him after 2010.
What does anyone think about Ricciardo vs Vestappen for the rest of the season?

100

The racing will be close i think, it will depend a lot on strategy and luck.
I always have my money on Daniel and Valentino as long as the odds are good.

101
Kenny Carwash

I think Ricciardo will shade it overall. He'll be fired up after the team threw away his chance at a win, which will serve him well in the next few races. Being in a frontrunning car brings more opportunity for high profile accidents and I suspect Max will learn this, just like Kvyat did.

102

Honestly, lets read between the lines or at least listen to what James is saying.
What James won't say but know is that Ricciardo is being setup/groomed as a number 2 now.
RBR are just doing it earlier in a drivers career and RIC is the victim. RBR know RIC is off contract maybe not this year but next so with Max in the mix happy to let RIC go and do a Webber on him.
Tell me im wrong ....

103
Kenny Carwash

I wouldn't agree with that at all and I think you're reading far too much into one race weekend in which Red Bull made a horrible strategy call for one car. The Kvyat/Verstappen move made sense, as RB needed to tie Verstappen down. I don't feel they've got any firm plans for the next phase, considering Ricciardo is a proven winner and could conceivably be at the team for another ten years. That said, Verstappen/Sainz does feel like a better fit all round and I'm sure Ricciardo will be looking at his options. Realistically though, these options are few in the short term: he's got a cast iron contract until 2018 so any interested parties would need to pay handsomely.

It's hard to say where Danny will end up in the longer term. I can't see Vettel entertaining him at Ferrari. They didn't really have a difficult relationship and Ricciardo's superiority was primarily a result of him adapting better to the new car's less aggressively-blown floor, but why would you risk unsettling the driver you're building the team around by hiring the one man who's beaten him in F1? I can only see three options for Ricciardo: staying with Red Bull, replacing Rosberg or Hamilton at Mercedes if their situation becomes untenable, or partnering Vandoorne at McLaren in a year or two. If I was a betting man, I'd stick a few quid on him ending up at McLaren, but that relies on McLaren and Honda producing a package that can win races in 2018

104
Lakerfoureyes

I think that's got legs as well Kenny.

105

Hi Kenny,

That's a pretty good summary mate...I tend to agree

106

That is not correct

I'm not saying that at all

You view this through the Webber Vettel prism but different combinations incur different protocols. Ricciardo is a Red Bull front runner, developed by Marko's programme, like Vettel.

Very different from Webber who Marko's had no influence over

107

Absolutely! I do not understand why Ricci fans are getting so defensive so early on. Come on, the man himself doesnt feel much pressure, and is a brilliant driver - Have some faith in his Quality? Why are the fans getting ready to torch the Town Square? Talk like that from his fans would probably make even Ricci Cringe.

108

I'm not exactly a DR 'fan'. I like what I see both as a person and as a driver, but from my armchair RB sacrificed him for headlines by 'gifting' MV the debut win.
There would be a level of Karma if DR won this weekend.

109

Sorry James but it is not like you are exactly saying the opposite...

"But they either didn’t want to ask Verstappen to do that or didn’t want to prioritise Ricciardo for the win. Perhaps a supremely strong result for Verstappen on his Red Bull debut would justify dropping Daniil Kvyat in favour of the Dutchman"

110

Perhaps RBR can beat one of the Mercedes drivers, but to beat them both would require a similar accident as in Spain. I somehow think that RBR might be a bit faster than Ferrari in Monaco.

111

For the development of Max there is nothing wrong with a strong team mate as Daniel. He must learn to deal with the fact that he is not faster. He has to improve every race. But his motivation seems to be all right. Good example of the dedication of Max: The Saturday evening of the Spanish GP after quali, someone called Max dad, Jos to congratulate him with the result of Max. I thought it was Jan Lammers, formal Dutch F1-driver, I'm not sure. Anyway, Jos was very pleased with the result. Jos told that Max was far from satisfied with the result and he was already a couple of hours in consultation with his engineers were the 0.4 sec. of Daniel in Q3 came from. In my view this is the hallmark of dedication it takes to win in your sport. Others will find it arrogant and found it normal that he had looked Games of Trones on Saturday evening. If RBR is able to let both drivers push eachother to a higher level, they maybe are able to surprise in a couple of races. For sure the tension between both Mercedes drivers is not helping Mercedes, which is an advantage for RBR and Ferrari. Ferrari is also under a lot of pressure.

112

It's a pity that Max Verstappen moved on to a big team so early.
Like to see great drivers in medium teams.
Would love to watch Max emulate fluke crazy driving moments like Senna/Lotus @ Adelaide 1985 and Schumy/Benetton @ Monaco 1993.

113

Renault engine is coming strong ! They were very good on the straight in Spain. Together with the superb Red-Bull chassis we can expect some more wins for both Ricciardo and Verstappen.

114

Max was sensational at Monaco last year (before his crash), so clearly he loves the place.

Watch out for more this year!

115

Pre-Barcelona it was all about Ferari bringing the fight to Merc.
Let's see how it turns out this time.
GO-RIC (and no extra stops please Redbull)

116
Kenny Carwash

I think this will be the closest race we've seen for quite a while. Monaco is all about throwing as much downforce as you can onto the car and to hell with drag. Red Bull have the best aero package and that will allow them to overcome a lot of the engine deficit to Mercedes. Ferrari should be there or thereabouts as well.

I think we might witness that rarest of F1 happenings: the drivers making the difference.

117

Now that would be refreshing.

118

I highly doubt, Renault would have found 0.4 sec gain.

Even if their gain is that substantial, I dare say, the front row will be locked out by LH & NR.
Both the Merc drivers know a thing or two about winning at Monaco. Looking forward to their qualifying battle.

It will be interesting to see the progress of Verstappen at Monaco. Whether he has learned his lessons from last year ?

And if bad qualifying performance hasn't hurt Ferrari enough in Spain, it will well and truly hurt them in Monaco.
They say a driver can make the difference in Monaco, so can Vettel and Raikkonen find that extra tenths of a sec???

119
Tornillo Amarillo

Monaco is absolutely for HAMILTON's. He could get the pole again and full focus.

But ROSBERG could do some dirty tricks in qualy or race day... He would prefer that than sitting watching HAMILTON catches up.

MAGNUSSEN in the podium. He needs to show something if he has the upgraded Renault PU.

VETTEL, KIMI, MAX and RICCIARDO?
KIMI P4, the others could clash because of envy 🙂

120

I think it's funny how one good race by Verstappen and many people are writing off Ricciardo. DR has stunning one lap pace and racecraft second to none. Verstappen clearly has a lot of upside, but I doubt he will win the qualifying battle with DR this year, so he's likely to come off second best in points from now on, considering how important starting position is with so many tracks where overtaking is difficult. If he does win the quali battle then I'll be happy to accept he'll be the best in F1 even as early as next year.

And regarding the race next week - last year RBR were over 2 seconds (!!) off Merc in quali for Spain, and 1 sec behind in Monaco - this year they were 0.7 sec behind in Spain, so that does bode well for a decent challenge to Merc this year.

121

@James: where is this Ricciardo front wing thing from? Because I heard on a Dutch website days ago but not seen it corroborated elsewhere.

122

A good source, over last weekend

123

Ginger Spice? 😉

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