Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monaco, 2018

Red Bull must fix ‘Saturday problem’ to be title contenders – Horner

2018 Canadian Grand Prix

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Red Bull needs to improve its qualifying performance in order to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for the championship, says Christian Horner.

Daniel Ricciardo won the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position. But this was the first time Red Bull had started from the front for two years.

Asked if their Monaco win showed they could have a stronger second half of the year, Horner said: “I hope so.”

“I think we’ve had a good chassis from the first race, the problem has always been on Saturday.

“[In Monaco] we got the pole position and we won the race even with a problem. If we can improve our Saturdays then our races will be competitive.

Red Bull has set fastest lap in four of the races so far, Horner pointed out. “I think if we can just improve our performances on Saturday and get a little bit more in Q3 on peak power then there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to give Mercedes and Ferrari a hard time.”

Red Bull’s power unit supplier Renault is planning to introduce a ‘Spec-B’ version of its hardware this weekend but it remains to be seen which of their teams will run it. Horner is anxious to get his hands on the upgrade.

“We’re hoping for a reliable MGU-K and there is a small upgrade coming for Montreal,” he said. “We need every bit we can get at the moment, so that’s hugely important for us.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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  • 10 comments on “Red Bull must fix ‘Saturday problem’ to be title contenders – Horner”

    1. There’s a lot of pressure for Renault on this update. Red bull need to get in the championship fight. Mclaren need to seal best of the rest. There’s an engine supply contract looming in the background.

      If this update bombs… Then it should be some hard decisions for Mr. Horner

      1. Sush meerkat
        4th June 2018, 11:19

        Well said @Todfod, as a Renault fan (sometimes I feel like I’m a mythical animal) I’m cautiously optimistic regarding Renault’s planned performance upgrades due to two reasons; Canada is an outlier much like Monaco and Monza, it seems (correct me if I’m wrong) to favour braking performance and longevity with easy to deliver power over full on engine power.

        I’m also worried the upgrades will go the way of previous Renault upgrades during this V6 era. And Honda and torro rosso are not doing as bad as everyone believed they would

      2. Renault is under no pressure at all. They are developing for renault at the pace that Renault wants to go for the championship. RBR is no more than an extra benchmark for them.

        1. This!

        2. I would think that the sooner they get an engine upgrade for their works team, the more beneficial it would be for their eventual championship hopes. It’s not like Ferrari and Mercedes are not finding gains with engine updates, so it’s in their own best interest to start closing the gap.

          1. Instead of updates that break now, they go for tested updates that work when they go for WC

    2. I’m only interested to see what Renault produce and how it will affect Danny Ric’s decision.

      If it makes them truly competitive then I think he will stay at RBR. If not the Ferrari and Mercedes chatter will increase significantly.

      An interesting weekend coming up.

    3. A real tough one for RBR and for DR. RBR are so close to being with the Ferraris and Mercedes, although that feeling may be a little skewed from Monaco. I can’t see Renault’s upgrade being ‘the’ solution yet, but RBR are quite competitive nonetheless. To me a switch to Honda will be a setback no matter what, but that’s without knowing all the ins and outs of the dealings of course. Ie. perhaps Renault will dump RBR? Just not sure how solid the relationship is…how eager Renault is to keep RBR. That said if I’m Renault I’m wanting to hang on to my best team. Some of this likely depends on how Renault feels they are coming along with their own works project.

      1. Yes, I also think they should continue with renault. I think this year red bull, unlike mclaren, showed that performances back their claims (to have the best chassis), if they were like mclaren, always underdelivering, they would’ve somehow failed to get pole at monaco and win the race, but they managed that even with the mgu-k issue.

        Based on this I’m starting to see reason in ferrari and mercedes refusing to supply red bull, there’s no doubt those 2 engines still have quite a big advantage on renault, right now and I’m not only talking about monaco, I get the feeling red bull would run away with the title had they had a ferrari or mercedes engine from the first race, so they obviously don’t want to make them too strong.

        Renault engine will likely improve a little but should still not be competitive with the other 2 with this upgrade.

    4. Seeing only the title of this article I was thinking Horner is talking about Max in Monaco :-)

    Comments are closed.