Red Bull is doing its home race at Zeltweg after a nice success at Baku. This track in Austria, it is a very short circuit where it will be necessary to find enough speed on the four straight lines.
Zeltweg: three straight lines, where it is possible to go at 325 km/h and a fourth one a bit less faster. In the middle, 9 turns. This is Red Bull Ring circuit, an interesting place where these new cars are going to run not so far from a one minute lap time. Last year, Lewis Hamilton did one lap in 1 minute, 07 seconds while our Ricciardo obtained a pit five on the grid.
Last year has been a week-end full of different events. An unforeseen degradation of tyres along Friday, due to very high temperatures, created some problems. Along the race, those temperatures went back to a normal value allowing some pilots to use a one pit-stop tactics. One of those pilots, it was Max Verstappen who did a nice second because they used a super-soft tyre, like Ferrari, and just one pit-stop. What is going to change, even this year, it is a research of a correct compromise between speed and grip. Ricciardo believes this year, it will be an interesting race:
“This year, we need to pay attention to get enough grip so we can be fast enough inside the turns and we will be together with top teams. At the same time, we must try to be competitive on straight lines, it is going to be a compromise.
This is a track where the engine is an important asset. You must get-out of a turn fast so you can prepare in the best possible way those long straight lines. When you look-for a compromise, what you must work on, it is the aerodynamic set-up. From half lap to the end, you would desire more load because there are some important turns but more load is going to slow you down along a straight line therefore it is important to find an appropriate balance.
I like this track, the only disadvantage I would like to make it longer or at least with a couple of turns more”
About Vettel and his punishment, Daniel thinks there is nothing more to say. It was a stupid action but Seb got a right castigation, so it is not necessary to talk too much about it anymore. Our Australian driver considers Vettel did not go for a clever reaction but actually his movement was not dangerous what he believes it is the fact this story was magnified:
“There is this idea where Seb came out of this story without consequences. What I think, this opinion is given because he finished his race before Lewis. This was caused by the fact, Lewis got a problem with his head protection. If there was not such a problem and he was winning the race, while Seb was finishing… Let’s say… Fifth or something like that, there was not all this outcry!
In my opinion, a stop and go of 10 seconds like the one of Seb, it is an important penalty. They can give you something like that before a black flag. There is not a bigger penalty as time lost. You loose 20 seconds for a pit and you have to stay motionless during other 10 seconds.
A light penalty was going to be one where race director wanted to just add 10 seconds once race was over. In this case, I was not going to agree because that might be a light penalty. I believe what we see, it was fair. What he did, it was not so terrible to require a disqualify. He did a mistake but he did not perform a dangerous movement, they were going at 40 km/h. Now, it is over and we should just forget this story”
Vettel was finally forced to write a letter to F1 fans, to apologize about his behaviour. This was asked by FIA after a meeting to decide if it was necessary a further punishment. Verdict was not to take any other action against him after this meeting at Paris. Sebastian decided to write an apologize and to deliver to anyone using his web-page, to close this story forever. At the same time, this letter is used to tell anybody his behaviour was not a good example and it should not be followed while saying sorry to Hamilton, too (I wonder if the British or someone like Verstappen were ever going to do something like that).
Finally, we can go ahead and talk about something else.