Red Bull entered the Formula 1 season believing it could be their year to win their first title since 2013 and optimism is high; rather than compete though, they’ve struggled to keep pace with their rivals.
Mercedes and Ferrari have stood ahead of Red Bull ever since pre-season testing and problems have plagued the team throughout the campaign, with drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo having eight incomplete races between them.
Many believed an aerodynamics overhaul in regulation changes this summer would benefit Red Bull, allowing them to compete for the title, it’s actually proved to be the undoing of the side this season – or at least that’s the belief Red Bull principal Christian Horner.
Charging towards the summer break ?☀️ pic.twitter.com/zYR0H0c99m
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) August 4, 2017
He stated last month that Red Bull have overcome their issues which saw vast differences between the performances in the wind tunnels and what they were witnessing on the track, though it admits the first-half of the campaign has been a major set-back. Quoted by Autosport, he said:
“We came in on the back foot really, the tools weren’t correlating with what we were seeing on the track. Predominantly it was the windtunnel that was leading us a little bit astray.”
“The big issue that we had was that the car suddenly got a lot wider, a lot bigger, a lot more blockage in the tunnel, and our particular windtunnel was pretty sensitive to that, with issues that we haven’t seen previously.”
“That probably cost us about two months, two and a half months in terms of where it put us back to. Then of course you’re working flat-out to try and recoup all that time but it’s not like the others are all standing still.”
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) 9 August 2017
It is of course easy to point the finger and the fact of the matter is that Red Bull should be performing a lot better this season, regardless of their issues, with it being embarrassing that the team has entered Formula 1’s summer break a whopping 173 points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. After all, if the car can perform well on the beach and on the salt plains, why can’t it on the track?
The team will certainly need to be more competitive in the second-half of the campaign if they are to save face, especially as they only have one win to their name this season, whilst Verstappen has secured a podium finish just once.