Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Is it toys out of the cot time for Red Bull?

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing had a pretty ordinary time of it at the Australian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo lost one of his four engines for the year during practice. Daniil Kvyat lunched a gearbox on the way to the starting grid and didn’t start the race.

Even junior outfit Toro Rosso suffered, with Max Verstappen forced into retirement with engine woes.

After previously having its own way for four years in succession the prospect of a second year with no world title is not pleasing the top brass at Red Bull Racing one little bit. In fact, you could say it’s tantrums all round. And the blame is being laid squarely at the feet of power unit supplier Renault.

“Across the four cars we’ve had two engine failures, one within five laps, and a whole bunch of driveability issues, so it’s not the start that Renault can afford to have,” Horner said.

“I think it masks so many things regarding corner entry, corner exit, degradation, slip control of the tyre,” Horner added. “You’re not able to drive the car properly. So you then start moving your brake balance around to try to compensate, so you are so far away from optimum. You start to lose temperature in brakes, and then the tyres aren’t working as they should. It’s a spiralling effect.”

Meanwhile, there’s conflicting views on the long-term interest in Formula 1 held by Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is leading the charge there telling reporters in Melbourne: “We will evaluate the situation again [in the summer] as every year and look into costs and revenues.

“If we are totally dissatisfied we could contemplate an F1 exit.

“Yes, the danger is there that Mr Mateschitz loses his passion for F1.”

Predictably, and coming back to Renault, it’s the power unit regulations that are the sore point for Marko.

“These power units are the wrong solution for F1, and we would say this even if [Red Bull supplier] Renault were in the lead,” he claimed.

“The technical rules are not understandable, much too complicated, and too expensive.”

However, Cristian Horner denies a Red Bull departure is on the cards and he attempted to hose down rumours that Audi is willing to buy out Red Bull and, crucially, that Mateschitz is willing to sell.

“You’re wide of the mark. There’s been statements from Dietrich to clarify that, It’s a non-issue,” Christian Horner told F1 reporter Adam Cooper.

There’s also talk that Renault might want to have its own factory team again, with Toro Rosso being the most likely match.

And all of this simply because Mercedes AMG has cleared the pack once again. Where was Mercedes when Red Bull was dominating and were they whinging and carrying on like pork chops that it just wasn’t fair?

Dominance in any sport, in particular in Formula 1, is cyclical. If Red Bull is prepared to stick around it has shown it has the capacity to reach the top.

It’s one thing to achieve success once. But coming back to succeed again after losing that dominance, that takes true courage and determination. And that’s how legends like Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have been made.

[Source: Autosport & Adam Cooper]

Caterham F1 in pictures Ferrari Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

2014 Russian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Russian Grand Prix

The fun has come and gone from the Sochi sun and the Russian Grand Prix passed by without any idiot from the Formula 1 world threatening to “shirtfront” Putin. Which, in some ways, in just as bad as it would have been if some idiot did engage his mouth before his brain.

Anyway, enough of that, let’s just try and enjoy the images from the race. Hopefully, they’re not quite as dull as the on track action ended up.

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Renault

My name is Christian and I am not amused

Christian Horner

After one of his team’s most lack lustre grands prix in some time Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner made it clear where he thinks the blame rests for the under performing RB10.

Horner is clearly unhappy with the reliability of the Renault power unit. “It’s frustrating that we’re in the situation that we are,” he said, speaking to Autosport.

“We’ve won all the races and all the championships that we’ve achieved with Renault power. But the situation just isn’t improving at the moment.

“The reliability is unacceptable. The performance is unacceptable. There needs to be change at Renault. It can’t continue like this. It’s not good for Renault and it’s not good for Red Bull.

“We need to work together as partners. There will not be another engine in the back of the car next year, but we want to be competitive and we want to run at the front.”

For their part, Renault isn’t shying away from its responsibilities.

“The anxiety that Christian feels, and the frustration he feels after a result that is not at the full potential of the performance of car and power unit, is completely understandable and shared by us,” acknowledged Renault deputy managing director Rob White.

“But we are completely committed to making progress as fast as we possibly can and I think we have shown signs of progress before now. This is a process that is completely shared with Red Bull, and the objectives are known and understood.”

[Source: Autosport | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Horner praises Ricciardo’s “brilliant” start

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

It could be argued that the start to Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull career should read second, fourth, fourth. That would have netted him a total of 42 championship points and placed him third in the title race behind the Mercedes pairing of Rosberg and Hamilton.

As it stands it’s only Daniel’s well earned fourth placed finish in Bahrain last weekend which he has to show for an otherwise impressive start to the 2014 F1 season. He’s shown great raw pace, often pushing the faster Mercedes drivers, as well as proving on track that he’s in no way intimidated by his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo has impressed his immediate boss Christian Horner, too.

“He has been brilliant,” said Horner. “From first practice in Australia he has been right there, driving extremely well, enjoying it, and he’s always got a smile on his face, whether things are good or bad.

“And his racing, if anybody had any question marks over his ability to move forward through the field, he has demonstrated he is right up there with the best.”

Horner added Daniel’s time with an under resourced HRT and under performing Toro Rosso may have hidden his abilities.

“Sometimes equipment does mask the potential of these guys,” explained Horner. “We knew he was good through what we saw in the testing he did with us, and in the simulator, but how good we weren’t quite sure.

“But he’s demonstrated he is absolutely top drawer.”

[Source: Sporting Life | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner is the best Team Principal in F1

2013 Singapore Grand Prix

Noted F1 photographer Darren Heath reminds us in his latest blog why his thoughts are essential reading. Heath starts off by giving an insight into the behind the scenes discussions over cost saving in the sport:

Laying a barely concealed trap for the hapless team heads, the F1 supremo’s tactical play ensures that the teams can hardly complain about having more races if they are quite prepared to spend many millions of dollars – which they supposedly haven’t got – on engineer-pleasing but essentially unnecessary testing. Agreeing with Bernie, Franz Tost – in his typically practical Austrian manner – argues well that having more races is preferable to testing. Far better to spend budgets on races, and earn money as a result, than to see no financial return from extended and lonely trips to Jerez, Barcelona, Bahrain, Dubai et al.

Before sharing an opinion on Christian Horner many will not have concluded themselves, declaring the Red Bull Racing boss is “streets ahead of the competition”:

He doesn’t harp on about money-saving measures. No – he gets on with doing his job, playing the game, walking a clever political path, ensuring that everything is as it should be for his mechanics, his engineers, his designers, his strategists, his multi-title-winning driver, and ultimately his Austrian paymasters.

Make sure you note the singular use of the word “driver” too.

[Source: Darren Heath | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]