Red Bull took the fight to Mercedes in the early stages of the United States Grand Prix – and Daniil Kvyat reckons they could have won had it stayed wet.
The RB11s were flying in the damp conditions at the beginning of the race and Daniel Ricciardo passed both Mercedes drivers to take the lead.
“To see the Mercs not getting away from us was awesome,” said Ricciardo afterwards. “I was enjoying that. In the lead we were quite quick for a few laps and it felt like old times.”
At this point the first drivers to try slick tyres – Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean – had struggled. But when Marcus Ericsson made the switch his rapid middle sector time signalled to his rivals that the track was ready for slicks.
Red Bull, however, could not find grip on the treadless rubber. “Once we put the slicks on we just didn’t have the pace,” said Ricciardo, who lost 1.3 seconds to Nico Rosberg on his first lap on the soft tyres.
Red Bull’s problems were worst after each of the four Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car interruptions during the race. “We struggled with the warm up with the tyres and also struggled a lot with braking today,” Ricciardo admitted. He finished tenth after contact with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jnr.
“If it was a wet race I felt it could have been a victory today,” rued Kvyat, who crashed out late in the race. “It’s easy to say that, but there’s no point really, because once it dried out we were an easy target for everyone, which was a bit frustrating.”
2015 United States Grand Prix lap times
All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):
2015 United States Grand Prix fastest laps
Each driver’s fastest lap:
|Rank||Driver||Car||Fastest lap||Gap||On lap|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1’41.980||1.314||53|
|5||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’42.660||1.994||51|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’43.010||2.344||54|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’43.172||2.506||51|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1’43.728||3.062||41|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’45.095||4.429||24|
2015 United States Grand Prix
- Sponsor Watch: Mexico, USA and Russia
- Verstappen and Rosberg take second Driver of the Weekend wins
- Very high rating for US GP as Mexico’s return falls flat
- Alonso encouraged by comparison with Hamilton
- Hamilton sees no need to help Rosberg to second in championship
42 comments on “Red Bull ‘could have won in the rain’ – Kvyat”
25th October 2015, 23:21
We know RBR has a great chassis, but this great. It was impressive. When you compare the relative performance between chassis and PU, I’m starting to think that RBR have been too nice to Renault this season.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
25th October 2015, 23:34
Same feeling. Remembering the way that Red Bull handled at Monaco, Hungary, Singapore and now today, you kinda feel Horner and co are right to complain this much about that engine, because the car is almighty quick. Not justifying how they came across to the press, but they have a reason, maybe.
No wonder, then, that neither Merc nor Ferrari want to give them engines. Even on customer engines, that Red Bull could fly, giving the works teams some serious headaches.
25th October 2015, 23:41
@fer-no65 RBR is terrible at PR, and the general F1 folk adores good PR. But RBR seem to have a point. Keep in mind, this year they were the only ones willing to even have a Renault PU, Lotus having jumped ship as soon as they could.
It makes me think the Reanult PU is embarrassingly bad, and that the car is doing wonders making it look less terrible.
John Mwesigwa (@sigwa)
26th October 2015, 7:15
I just think redbull nailed their setup for wet weather…which merc and ferrari compromised alilo to allow some good dry runs on slicks and it paid off…its not right to blame it on renuault coz toro rosso with de same unit enjoyed a good race
26th October 2015, 15:40
The forecast was for a dry race at some point. So it probably became a bit of a gamble on setup for everyone. Not to take away from their performance, but I’m sure RBR knew it’s only chance at victory was in the wet, so it makes sense for them to do a full wet setup.
25th October 2015, 23:40
I am not sure whether this is so much about the quality of the chassis. It rather seems to be more about how much heat the chassis puts into the tyres, as the Mercs had problems with overheating Inters at the beginning (when RBR, but also Ferrari had them in the operating window), but everyone else had problems getting the dry-tyres to enough temperature, even more so during (V)SC. And the “the colder it gets, the bigger the Merc-advantage” on slicks has been seen all through the season. Unfortunately the breakoff-point (where others can compete with the Merc-pace) seems to be near 40°C (more or less, depending on the tyre and the track as well, obviously), and that´s just too hot to happen often.
26th October 2015, 0:37
That doesn’t explain how the Toro Rosso’s were able to easily overtake them in the dry though.
26th October 2015, 0:42
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
26th October 2015, 1:17
@george not sure it was down to outright speed. It seemed as if it was because of the strategies that Red Bull fell back. Afterall, they were on older tyres compared to both Toro Rossos that had pitted under SC following Ericsson’s retirement.
29th October 2015, 19:25
It was extreme wet setup. That’s also the reason why they were so bad in dry conditions.
25th October 2015, 23:29
Today we saw why Mercedes and Ferrari are terrified of giving Red Bull their engines.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
25th October 2015, 23:35
@kingshark beat me to it!
26th October 2015, 11:45
Or we saw why Red Bull are terrified to give some of their aero team over to rivals in exchange for engines. Same thing the car is a package, Red Bull want Ferrari engines then give Newey and a few other so to Ferrari.
26th October 2015, 13:05
@Kingshark: wrong; RBR were looking good in the wet simply because they were running much higher downforce, ie., wet set-up and once the track dried, they were sitting duck! proof of that? The Torro Rosso with the same PU beat them!!!
29th October 2015, 19:26
25th October 2015, 23:43
If I was them, I’d take a last minute deal for the 2015 Ferrari PU, if the alternative is to leave. It’s a clear step forward from what they have now.
I get the feeling, with a chassis that strong, they’d be at the sharp end with just a little bit more power. Truly awesome to watch DK and RC, closely following each other through the twisty bits. That car was properly hooked up today.
25th October 2015, 23:48
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Ferrari retired the offer of a 2015 PU after Singapore, thinking that even that would make RBR too strong.
Mr win or lose
25th October 2015, 23:56
It seemed as if the Red Bulls were running a wet-weather set-up, while other teams chose something more in-between a wet and dry set-up.
25th October 2015, 23:57
Wow! I didn’t know that!
That’s poor form…
26th October 2015, 0:05
Red Bull were beaten by Torro Rosso; so it is clear the engine was not the issue at this race. they ran a more wet weather biased setup. Christan Horner is known for his many gambles; which pay off handsomely sometimes. however, in this case, he gambled wrong. To run a wet weather setup on a track where the forecast for rain was marginal as best was the wrong choice.
26th October 2015, 0:07
When? When they had such brake issues that there was black smoke coming from Ric’s and Kvy’s cars? I don’t think that says much about the chassis.
26th October 2015, 1:25
So If they had brake issues, HOW would they have won in the rain??? And last time i checked, the brakes were not part of the engine. The point is, they went the wrong way on setup.
26th October 2015, 1:40
@kbdavies I thought you meant earlier in the season, my mistake. If you mean today, you’re even more wrong, I’m afraid, since the difference was simply due to RB not pitting during the first SC (which granted was an strategic mistake). In terms of car speed they were a league ahead of TR. On the wet they were even faster than the Mercs.
29th October 2015, 19:28
No man. They were clearly running with higher than wise amounts of downforce for a dry track!
26th October 2015, 3:41
Watching the race today i saw an unbelievable difference of 25 km/h on the speed strap without DRS between Mercedes and Red Bull.
They can’t compete like this. It’s impossible. Renault screwed them up so badly is not even funny.
Some people say they should be grateful for the titles, but this is all in the past. Now they are just competing to get nowhere because Renault can’t produce a Power Unit on the regulations themselves pushed to be approved.
26th October 2015, 7:19
I think it wasn’t just the engine, Red Bull went too much for a wet setup and had more downforce. Of course the engine is a contributing factor tho.
29th October 2015, 19:29
It’s because they traded off straight line speed for more downforce for an extreme wet setup. That would make Renault look even worse naturally.
26th October 2015, 4:14
Ricciardo could have won in the rain, after actually leading for a while and pulling away. He had excellent pace. Kyvat went off numerous times before binning it.
29th October 2015, 19:30
26th October 2015, 7:53
Put a Mercedes engine on that Redbull and you’ll see how mediocre the mercedes car actually is.
26th October 2015, 11:49
Put a Red Bull chassis on the Merc and see how mediocre Red Bull are. Chassis plus engine equals overall package Merc are better than Red Bull now as are Ferrari, they all have the same budget so time for Red Bull to spend some on an engine rather than trying for a cheap engine that others work hard at and pay to develop then using all their money for the chassis. They are not a little team they are huge and can do this.
29th October 2015, 19:33
Not to mention the fact that Mercedes probably have chassis as good as Red Bull if not better. It was clearly the overly high downforce that made them look so fast.
26th October 2015, 8:45
Judging by the gap between Hamilton and Kvyat/Ricardio during FP3 I think he’s deluded if he thinks he’d have been able to keep up in a full wet race. The conditions played somewhat into RBR’s hands in that the Mercedes was struggling to keep heat in the inters.
26th October 2015, 8:47
No wonder Merc and Ferrari don’t want their engines behind RBR. It’s very obvious.
Ric and Kyvat fell of the radar when the track dried up and they were dragging their cars, guess they gambled with wet set up?
26th October 2015, 9:14
Indeed, it was quite obvious they went with a wet weather setup. They gambled and in the end lost.
26th October 2015, 11:50
That’s the 3rd time this season where the red bulls, especially Daniel, could have won. Luck has just been against them
26th October 2015, 12:09
Sure RBR have a great chassis, thats why they’re so pissed about the PU, they know they’d be right up there if it wasn’t as bad as it is.
Having said that, the real story for me is that they went for a pretty much full wet set up, while Merc and Ferrari compromised it, knowing it might well dry out on sunday.
You can see why they did it, they knew if it dried up they’d be in nomansland no matter which set up (thanks Renault!). So their only hope of getting to the Podium was hoping for a full wet race.
29th October 2015, 19:32
No. They would be ahead of STR if the drivers managed a clean race and a good pace. Win or finish last isn’t a reasonable idea really…
26th October 2015, 12:38
This is clearly about the setup, not the chassis.
Not even Red Bull are pointing fingers at Renault after this race. But only the fans are going on and on about the engine.
26th October 2015, 14:53
That’s because it’s a terrible PU.
29th October 2015, 19:30
Yeah it’s obviously setup.
26th October 2015, 15:43
@keithcollantine or anyone. how can I choose to only display selected drivers in the graph??? I want to compare Hamilton v Rosberg only.
Comments are closed.