E Shanghai is actually not the ideal terrain for the Red Bull RB12. There are four straights that are longer than 600 meters. At 1,190 meters, the back straight is one of the longest full-throttle sections on the calendar. Nevertheless, Daniel Ricciardo placed his Red Bull in second place on the grid and Danil Kvyat took third place on the podium for the former series world champion. Team advisor Helmut Marko is convinced: 'Without the puncture, Ricciardo would have finished second.'
Red Bull with less downforce on the road
Red Bull surprised himself in China. The 16 corners were enough to compensate for the deficit on the straight. 'We drive 20 percent less downforce than we should. This is the only way we can keep up to some extent on the straights,' reveals Marko. In the qualification, Ricciardo and Kvyat were in the back of the top speed ranking with 329.5 km /h and 327.3 km /h. However, only 5 km /h slower than the fastest Sergio Perez.
In the race, a Red Bull led the top speed classification. The 349.9 km /h were of course achieved in the slipstream and with DRS. Ricciardo had ample opportunity to do so. He was always in traffic. In comparison, Kvyat drops significantly. The Russian only got 336.0 km /h in the race and ended up exactly where he was in practice. In fourth from last place.
Red Bull RB12 reminds Ricciardo of 2014
GPS measurements have shown that The Red Bull drove at eye level with the Mercedes despite the voluntary waiver of downforce in the fast corners of Sector 2. 'The Mercedes then won half a second on us in the last sector alone,' said Marko angrily. The Austrian praises the car: 'It's amazing that we're already in such a good shape. With the downforce we're driving, we also have to make compromises when it comes to setup and balance. We would have been even better in training if Kvyat had his best Sector times packed into one round. '
But these compromises should soon be over. Renault has announced a major upgrade for the Canadian GP. 35 HP more power, better drivability, less fuel consumption. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Ricciardo are cautiously optimistic. Both want to experience the engine on the track before giving a judgment. But both also say: 'Renault already has overmade a good step in winter. That gives us confidence. '
Horner believes:' If everything goes as announced, we will definitely be driving with Ferrari. And maybe even with Mercedes on certain routes. 'Daniel Ricciardo feels at home again in his racing car.' The RB12 is much better on the brakes and in traffic than the previous year's model. I can attack and overtake again. It reminds me of my 2014 car. We were clearly number two behind Mercedes in 2014, albeit by a large margin. At the moment we are number three, but the lap time is closer to Mercedes than two years ago. '