D he first three starting positions at the GP Canada are mixed. A Ferrari in front of a Mercedes and a Red Bull. Max Verstappen's third place on the grid makes Red Bull dream of a win in Montreal. The team is betting that the RB14 are usually superior to their opponents at racing speed. Especially when the tires wear out. But in the direct fight on the track it will be difficult for Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to come forward. “We lack top speed”, regrets Head of Motorsport Helmut Marko.
That is why Red Bull is relying on an alternative strategy. While Ferrari and Mercedes start on the ultrasoft tires and want to bring the second part of the race over the stage with the supersoft rubber, Verstappen and Ricciardo risk a start on the delicate hypersoft rubbers. “In our situation we have to do something different. If we drive off just like Ferrari and Mercedes, we have little chance of driving past with our engine power. ”
New engine produces 12 hp and one and a half tenths
Red Bull hopes that the hypersoft tire will bring the first advantage at the start. 'On paper it should be eight to ten meters,' the engineers calculate. So exactly the difference of a starting place. Lewis Hamilton doubts: “According to our experience, the advantage is smaller.” Ricciardo believes: “We have to use the grip advantage of Hypersoft in the first three laps.” And then hope that Pirelli's super glue will survive as long as possible. 'If we have to get in on lap 10, it won't be enough for a one-stop race,' Ricciardo fears.
The firstSet of tires should last at least 18 to 20 laps. At Red Bull, the plan could work. On Friday, Verstappen drove the longest endurance run with Pirelli's softest rubber compound. 'For us, Hypersoft is the better choice,' confirms the Dutchman, who set the fastest time in three of the four training sessions.
Verstappen only had to admit defeat in qualifying. “We just miss the qualifying mode. We can't crank it up like the others. ”Renault's Spec 2 engine doesn't have the magic power button either. “But we can drive longer at the highest level of performance,” says sports director Cyril Abiteboul.
Red Bull benefits less from Renault's expansion stage than the factory. This is due to the different fuel. While Renault wins 20 hp or three tenths, it is 12 hp or 0.15 seconds in relation to the lap time. The third place in the World Cup has to wait a little longer for the next fuel development. “We'll get it in Hungary at the earliest.”
Ricciardo got bogged down with the setup
Max Verstappen responded to the criticism of his many accidents with two flawless training days. The Dutchman felt comfortable in his vote from the first lap. “The car got better from training session to training session.” Only once did the third person in training have a moment of shock. Marcus Ericsson almost rammed his Red Bull after a kiss on the wall.
For Ricciardo, the Canadian GP did not go as smoothly. The Monaco winner spent 54 minutes in the pits in the second practice session because of engine problems. 'That costs time on the track, breaks the rhythm, and you lose setup time.'
Changing the set-up for the third training session went wrong. Ricciardo had it back to the level on Friday and then felt much more comfortable. 21 thousandths were missing from Kimi Raikkonen and 5th place. 'I can also go from sixth on the grid to the podium,' said Ricciardo fiercely.