As with the first two seasons, Red Bull had nothing to do with the battle for the pole position in Shanghai. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, in which the engine was switched in just two hours due to a turbocharged effect in the open workout and who could only intervene in qualifying in the last few seconds, came to places five (+0701) and six (+0, 853).
While the delay in Ferrari in the Red Bull camp caused a small shock, both Mercedes do not even have two tenths of a head start on the Dutch. Ferrari was much too fast and somehow they probably found a turbo button on the straight lines,”says Verstappen, who was very dissatisfied in qualifying with the engine power on the straight lines, which according to his own information also had to do with his own engine settings.” In the race we should be closer in terms of top speed, hopefully this will help us a bit.”
Ricciardo doesn’t really see the Reds in the swing mode:”I couldn’t say now that we will follow their pace tomorrow, but Mercedes definitely seems within reach. You weren’t very strong this weekend. I think having a place on the podium is –that’s our goal.”
Red Bull:”favorite opponent”Mercedes beatable
As soon as he hopes, that the gap is only so great in qualifying: “In the previous year we were in Bahrain in qualifying within a second and here we were suddenly two seconds behind. It wasn’t so bad in the race, though. We just don’t seem to be that strong on one lap here.”
Red Bull has”favorite opponent”Mercedes in his sights. While Ferrari and Mercedes went into Q2 with the soft tyre and nominated the middle blend as the starting tyre, Red Bull is strategically lifting off as usual: Capture and Ricciardo start with the ultra-fast tyre, i.e. with the softest blend, in the Grand Prix of China.
“Ferrari is incredibly fast this weekend, but we start the race on a different tire. This could be very interesting,”team leader Christian Horner hopes for a happy turn against”Sky Sports F1”. But how can the Ultrasoft tyre, which is considered a bad racing tyre, be an advantage?
Ultrasoft starter tyre: This is how poker should start
Ricciardo points to the start: “Since the path to the first curve here is short, traction probably plays a bigger role than performance. And of course we have an advantage with the ultrasound tyre. If we get away with it, we can win at least one place in it.”
Mercedes-Star Lewis Hamilton must be especially careful not to become a victim of the Red Bull duo. But what’s the point of all this if you don’t understand and Ricciardo doesn’t make it through with one stop?” With regard to tyres, there are many possibilities: it may be a stepping stone, but it may be a two-step step step, and we are still not sure about that,”admits the Dutch”uncertainties.” At least we’re doing something different from the others.”
We got smart at Pirelli on Friday: Principal Mario Isola said that the ultra-fast tyre is expected to last up to ten laps, but even with the softest mix as the starting tyre it is not impossible to start a race, when changing to the media tyres afterwards. However, as the track is gaining more and more grip due to the rubber abrasion, much more rounds could now be possible.
start-up strategy is not excluded
An experience that Kevin Magnussen has made. If you can drive 16-to-18 rounds with this, a stepping strategy is likely,”says the Haas pilot, where the softest tyres were no longer needed on Friday after ten rounds. On Saturday morning, however, the Danes rode 18-rounds with it. There it was all right, but it was also really cold.”
For Sunday it should not only be warmer, but also the sun shines, so that a significantly higher asphalt temperature can be expected. This can become a tremor for the Ultrasoft pilots, but it does not necessarily play into the cards for the soft starters, as Magnussen reveals: “The soft gets more problems when it gets hot, because its working window is at lower temperatures.” Ricciardo is good things: “We have been confident since the beginning of the year, as far as our long run performance is concerned, even if we could not show it in Bahrain.”
And then Red Bull could also benefit from happy circumstances –for example, if there is an early safety car phase, everyone comes to the box and you no longer have a durability disadvantage due to the ultra-fast tires. Or do you plan strategically differently than the competition and are flushed to the top by several neutralizations.
Did Red Bull force himself to ultrasound strategy?
The question remains, whether Red Bull has voluntarily opted for the ultra-fast tyres or was forced into possible happiness by the qualifying disadvantage in Q2 because they feared a break.” If we had had a good morning and had been at the front of Q1, we might have considered the soft tyres as well,”explains Ricciardo, who packed the Q1 barrier by only 0185 seconds.” We were already in the background, and when we saw how fast the others were, we thought: What good would it do us if we chose the same strategy as them?”
Understand believes that he could have gotten into Q3 with soft tires as well.” It was tricky, and it’s true that the gap in the back was not very big,”he plays on the 0177 seconds that saved him in Q2 at the end. But if we had added another sentence, we would have automatically been five, six tenths faster. That was never my plan.”