Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Red Bull aiming to be within a few tenths of Mercedes – Verstappen

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen says Red Bull will be satisified if they are within a few tenths of a second of Mercedes in qualifying.

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McLaren may be in for another difficult season.

I really wish them to do well, and be back up in at least the podium fight. This is going to be challenging but this is possible if all goes right. Unfortunately, right now not all is going right, so a bit more challenging and they could be up by the end of the season.

Anyway, another good news is it seems the car is relatively fast and this is a better place than having a slow reliable car. I think having a fast car with reliability issue is “easier” to fix than the other way around.

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Ryan Hunter-Reay, IndyCar, Andretti, 2018
Ryan Hunter-Reay, IndyCar, Andretti, 2018

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32 comments on “Red Bull aiming to be within a few tenths of Mercedes – Verstappen”

  1. Hemingway (@)
    10th March 2018, 0:35

    I’m definitely missing having the testing spread across two tracks- an extra factor to consider.

    Even if we could gauge how each team performed at Catalunya, it would be daft to imagine that the form would translate to every track. Maybe a car that goes well there will be relatively poor elsewhere. Maldonado’s win as an example.

    1. That’s precisely why Catalunya is the preferred track for testing. A car that goes well there does tend to go well pretty much everywhere (with a few exceptions, like Monaco). Or at least that used to be true until they resurfaced the track.

      1. Hemingway (@)
        10th March 2018, 1:02

        I appreciate it’s a decent all-rounder kind of track, but still there will be huge swings in performance gaps from race to race.

        With rose tinted specs on, it was more interesting to even go from Jerez to Catalunya. Seeing the teams attitudes to the car change between the two. There are so many variables which make a difference to performance from the grades of the asphalts to the curbing, the general characteristics I just think it would be beneficial anyway. It’s probably relatively inexpensive.

    2. @theessence
      The FW34 was indeed a great car and that was obvious since the first race where Maldonando was challenging Alonso for 5th before crashing. The car didn’t get the credit that it deserve simply because Maldonado and Senna (sorry Ayrton) were behind the wheel. Spain wasn’t Williams’s only good performance that year, Maldonado qualified 3rd in Valencia, 2nd in Singapore and 3rd in Abu Dhabi with great timings.
      The thing is, during the season Williams wasn’t bringing as much updates as the top teams Ferrari,RBR,McLaren and Lotus and gave up early on its development to focus on the 2013 car.

      1. Hemingway (@)
        10th March 2018, 14:43

        The car was decent, otherwise it wouldn’t have won a straightforward race. Great? No..

        Arguably a better driver would have dominated the race even more. End of the day- it’s a fact that Williams only beat HRT Marussia Toro Rosso and Caterham in that championship, but dominated at Catalunya, which is what my point is about. I don’t know what the confusion is.

        1. MB (@muralibhats)
          10th March 2018, 23:43

          @tifoso1989 Summed it up well and am not sure what confusion you are talking about. Even Lotus did well in the testing programme and they did pretty well that season .. didn’t they?

          IMO Even teams will not want to test on different tracks pre season as it reveals their car performance for more than one race weekend. With the advancement of simulation, they can probably deduce how the car may work on different tracks by changing variables.

  2. The round-up sums it up. No Ferrari threat as predicted. Mercedes a little nervous, RB super confident.

    1. @peartree

      The revealed tyre delta was ridiculous. It confirmed almost everything we expected.
      That last day of Alonso was preposterous, I got some messages that his time was too good for STR but with the given delta, the McLaren is even trailing over 1s behind the RB, with the same PU. Unbelievable really.

      1. Julian (Mr. Sakura)
        Why is that a surprise. Did you seriously expect Mclaren to be competing with Red Bull for 1 lap or race pace ene with the same power unit? Ever heard of better aero and Adrian Newey? No Chance. The deltas are mostly meaningless anyway as they are what to expect in the most ideal situations. The 1 sec deficit of Mclaren to Red Bull seems about right to me, after all Red Bull are going to be 2nd or 3rd this year and Mclaren will at best be 5th of 6th.

        1. @bonbonjai, I don’t think that most people understand what that poster is thinking most of the time…

          I do agree that expecting McLaren to instantly jump to the same performance level as Red Bull is unrealistic (though, whilst Red Bull may have Newey, quite a few ascribed a fair chunk of Red Bull’s success to Prodromou, who was their chief aerodynamicist and whom Newey seemed to have been preparing as a potential successor to him before Prodromou went back to McLaren).

        2. @bonbonjai

          Not same pace, 1,4s off is ridiculous, delta is not meaningless, what a bunch of garbage, Newey is not god, don’t make excuses, McLaren kept pushing the we make the top 3 chassis of the galaxy, where is it now? 1,4s deficit that’s where. Bye. Don’t bother posting more excuses and frustrations, I’ll not react or even read it. I don’t even have notification on.

          1. You wouldn’t be a Honda fan by any chance would you Mr. Sakura? LOL

          2. Oh, we all know that you will read every reply. There is no sence in denying it! :)

          3. MB (@muralibhats)
            11th March 2018, 0:03

            Why you are reacting like how mclaren reacts to honda 😅

            Dont see what anon said to warrant this reaction. And hey – i know you are reading this comment 👋🏻

          4. @xiasitlo: normally I disagree with you, not being a honda fan, but I was one of those who said that while mclaren’s chassis was decent, it certainly wasn’t as good as they made it out to be, on the basis of them being 1 sec off in hungary, a track without much power needed, and same thing in singapore, almost 2 sec off, too much for a team who claims to have a top chassis!

            However, even I wouldn’t have expected they’d have been over 1 sec off red bull now, certainly thought a few tenths, this sounds really horrible from mclaren.

          5. Are people sure McLaren are using last years chassis?

      2. @xiasitlo Seems like it.

        even though the testing data can be hiding some secrets, I think each team’s press releases showcase what they know and how confident they are, nobody mentions Ferrari and McLaren seem to have finally stopped babbling. Whether Mc’s target to match RB was feasible or not they weren’t humble at all.

    2. When VER says “we expect to be a lot closer [to Mercedes]”, i think of the respective times each team posted on the mediums and softs (which are supposed to be a truer measure).

      Merc still have got an advantage over red bull. More than 4 tenths.

      1. @faulty I don’t think you can make that definitive a conclusion. We haven’t seen how the cars will treat the tires and the tires the different cars in the heat. We haven’t seen their final aero packages and those will evolve throughout the season. We haven’t seen them at various track types, which we know some teams will be stronger at certain ones than others.

        So many variables that we just have to let the season play through, although of course after a handful of races we should have a better read on things and perhaps start to understand what types of tracks will favour what cars…that may or may not be the same as last year, but I suppose likely the same due to the stability in the regs.

        Four tenths just sounds like too much in terms of any kind of set-in-stone deficit considering one could have probably said the same of RBR last year and yet they were win capable at times, and gathered momentum near the end ie. I don’t see why they couldn’t possibly have gotten closer to Mercedes, nor why testing has provided definitive answers other than how they performed in Spain in those temps without their final aero packages and with who knows what else going on in their programs.

      2. @faulty not mention the merc magic button

  3. Re. COTD – Adrian Newey agrees with you.

  4. That Indy car looks really good, but obviously, really dangerous. All that gaudy sponsorship can lead to accidents.

    1. I’m not a fan of the front wing but the shape and proportions of that nose cone look perfect. Rounded, simple, and elegant. Compared with the cuboid blocks F1 has with all those awkward angles. And that’s before we consider the thumb tips F1 has

  5. After took a closer look at the Motorsport magazine and all other round-up articles, I realized that there’s no reason to believe that this season would be any better than last year.
    It looks like we will be facing the same result with the exception that this year McLaren problem would be overheating of tight chassis rather than unreliable PU.

    1. there’s no reason to believe that this season would be any better than last year.

      Last season was actually very good until Vettel dropped the ball. @ruliemaulana
      Imagine the same with RBR at/above end-of-2017 levels.

      1. His team were also dropping the ball as they did with Alonso

  6. I agree with the 2nd paragraph of the COTD.

  7. Not really related to any of the linked articles, but from what I’ve heard, it seems that Alonso did cut the last chicane/used the part of the pre-2007 configuration during his fastest lap, so, i.e., he cheated on his way to the 2nd fastest time of the day, LOL.

    1. @jerejj, are you sure that you’re not mistaking that for another lap that Alonso did? There was a moment where Alonso was recorded as having done a 1m16.7s lap, but that lap was deleted for cutting the track – I think you have mixed up that lap with the 1m17.8s lap that he recorded before that.

      1. @anon That could be it. When I heard that he had cut the track, I thought the person who said that was indeed referring to the 1m17.8s lap, but it must’ve been the other one.

  8. That Indycar aero package looks like it came from the 90’s. For some reason Indycars always look incredibly dated.

    1. Because they are. They have a new kit, but the chassis for example is the same.

      That’s natural in spec series, no need to push development or technology @patrickl

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