Daniel believes they are one second slower than their competitors and this is something not possible to fix in one night.
Daniel Ricciardo destroys a myth about the invincibility of Red Bull department, in his opinion Mercedes and Ferrari are not less. Helmut Marko said a new car will be available at the GP of Spain but until that day, Red Bull will be in a defensive mode. This idea came-out after the GP of China, when all the defects of this project started to rise-up. A project created around the concept to reduce any aerodynamic drag to a minimum but fruitlessly:
“It was just the first race and when I was at home in Australia, I thought a difference below 0,5 seconds from Ferrari and Mercedes was possible. Today, after three races and with a clear picture of where we are it is clear we have not their pace. It is not to look for a reduction of 0,3 or 0,4 seconds, we are fighting to take away 1 second. In this case, we need something more important than a front wing or something else. You can not find a solution in one night. We always thought that whene we were coming back to Europe everything was going to clear-up hence I love to believe that until Barcelona, we will be capable to reduce this gap below the difference of 1 second”
Developments pretty complicate to do in a short period of time and with this series of races away from Europe, there is not too much they can do. It is quite difficult to imagine to be competitive on an entire championship starting constantly with a handicap like the previous years as well as this one. Due to that, the main target of Red Bull F1 racing will be to compete with the secondary drivers of Ferrari and Mercedes at least until Barcelona while waiting an update of their car. Daniel is optimistic about the future, this is his personality but he is realistic about the situation:
“Adrian Newey is of course a genius, but the other top teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams and so on, they got some effective departments in the same area. We have an important potential in the next updates, in fact last year we did a pretty good job. Even so, it is not a strong point to do not be able to start before anybody else, I think it is a weakness. Unfortunately, since the beginning of my adventure with this team, we always play in a defensive mode while we try to recover”
We can says, as Daniel’s fans, the new rules might be a good opportunity for Red Bull to make a step forward but they are already disappointing. Daniel is not guilty at all, he is giving a good series of results but the power-unit, chassis and aerodynamic of this RB13 are not good at all. Helmut Marko is not thinking it will be possible to change this situation too much:
“Until now, our only advantage is in our pilots. We are not capable to fight with Vettel or Hamilton but we can leave behind Raikkonen and Bottas, so this is the best way we can reduce damages. We must get the maximum amount of points in Europe. At Barcelona, we will get a new car and one race later Renault will give a more powerful engine. That’s the moment where we must win without looking for a lucky event, moving a struggle between two pilots to a four pilots scenario”
Too difficult to believe because in Bahrain, during the test, Red Bull did not do too bad but at the same time they faced some technical problems. This break was only useful to test some alternative solutions or set-up, giving a try to a better understanding of RB13. Ricciardo was happy about the run done on Tuesday, conditioned by some problems to his power-unit. A comparison with all data collected during the race, it gave a clear picture of the performance of this car and what is the best way to use a set of tires.
Helmut Marko gives a final indication about the real health of the team:
“I want to be honest about this story of speed gap. In Australia, we were at 1,8 seconds, in China we were at 1,3 seconds and in Bahrain we were at 0,9 seconds from the first two. This means, we are improving little by little, of course this is not enough. Looking at qualifying, where the cars give an idea about their real top-speed, we know Mercedes got a qualifying mode. We think Ferrari must have something similar and this is a nice help.
I mean, the direction we are moving it is pretty nice if we keep in mind the constant reduction of this gap. Even more, keeping in mind during qualifying you do not get any points, it is something positive to know we are competitive along the race if we do not have any technical problem like with Max the last Sunday.
We have mainly two problems: Renault is facing some reliability problems that blocked them during the test of their engine. Another one, it is we do not have the chassis we would like to have. We are working day and night to fix those problems. We think, we will be capable to do a big step forward at Barcelona. Sometimes, the virtue of patience, it is the best thing a F1 team can have. Renault will give a better MGU-K 2017 in Montreal”
This is an indication, GP of Russia must be done with a car not competitive and with the same material used so far. There is no doubt, this championship will be far, far-away when Red Bull is going to start to be reliable and competitive like Ferrari and Mercedes. What we can do it is to cross our fingers and to hope about a come-back of our Daniel