Formula 1 title contenders Sebastian Vettel’s and Lewis Hamilton’s unfortunate tragedy gifted a miraculous victory for Daniel Ricciardo at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but is has been silenced in rude manner.
This season began with so much expectation and its quickly collapsed into a farce as Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen still under pressure with their RB13.
Especially they are struggling with Renault power-unit issues, Red Bull wasn’t nearly as quick as Mercedes’ or Ferrari’s four-wheelers. RB13 chassis advantages made only a slight advantage to Red Bull’s chances.
The Milton Keynes-based F1 outfit now third in the constructors’ standings, it’s still a whopping 89 points behind Ferrari in second.
Red Bull now standing behind the McLaren in F1 2017 race mileage
According to Motorsport.com, between them, Ricciardo and Verstappen have completed 685 laps in eight grand prix this year, 31 laps less than McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button (Monaco substitute). Ricciardo has driven 408 laps while Verstappen has completed just 277, the fewest of any full-time driver in races so far.
Force India has completed the most laps (956) and Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes have run the second most (846).
RACE LAPS COMPLETED IN 2017
Force India — 956
Mercedes — 946
Ferrari — 903
Sauber — 829
Haas — 809
Toro Rosso — 749
Williams — 745
Renault — 738
McLaren — 716
Red Bull – 685
Talking following Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where the young sensation Verstappen was hit by a walkout in practice and the race, team principal Christian Horner said: “The two failures that Max has were totally unrelated, this was a sudden loss of oil pressure and they [the cars] don’t like not having oil in them.
“Renault need to do the right post-mortem and understand what the right cause of failure is.”
When the media asked if the difficulties were the result of Renault simply pushing harder for performance, Horner replied: “I’m not sure, to be honest. You know, the cause of failure that we had in Montreal was nothing to do with performance.
“You can’t fault the people on the floor and behind the scenes that are pushing hard. And, you know, as a race team we’re always impatient to have more performance and better reliability.”
The regular victim speaking
Verstappen is so used to being the victim of technical misfortunes he’s preparing to drive the Red Bull simulator this week because at least he knows there’s no chance of an engine failure.
“This was an engine problem and, unfortunately, not the first time,” Verstappen told Dutch TV show Peptalk of his retirement in Azerbaijan.
“It’s really gutting to drop out again when you’re in such a good position. If you look at how hard the guys work day and night to make the car work perfectly, then they’re really gutted as well when it breaks down.
“On Wednesday, I’ll be in the simulator, at least there the engine can’t break down.”
He said Ricciardo’s victory in the eventful Baku race added to his disappointment, although Red Bull’s performance at a track where top speed is important was unexpected.
“We were positively surprised in Baku,” he said. “The car was doing well but then I really want to score points. In terms of outright speed the whole year has been quite good, but in terms of scoring points it really hasn’t.
“(The team) expects me to do my best and I expect everything is perfect from Red Bull and the engine as well. It’s very tough.”