N after the double failure of Bahrain Things are actually only looking up for Red Bull in Shanghai. Nevertheless, Saturday started with another low blow for the team from Milton Keynes. A turbo defect on Daniel Ricciardo's car in the third practice session meant that the mechanics had to skip the lunch break.
Red Bull decided to change the entire drive unit due to lack of time. “Unfortunately, our engine partner had not completely prepared the package. We had to screw some elements together individually, which made the procedure a little more complicated, ”complained team boss Christian Horner. In the end, it turned into a race against the clock. Daniel Ricciardo was only able to start his qualifying 3 minutes before the end of the first knockout lap.
Red Bull with last-minute repairs
“I have half an hour before the start of the session asked my engineers. They were more realistic than optimistic. Nevertheless, I prepared normally. Fortunately, it was enough in the end, ”the pilot puffed. Ricciardo also played his part in not having to start from last place on the grid on Sunday. “The marshals wanted to push my car in the wrong direction at first. I then showed you the way to the pit lane. ”
There the Red Bull mechanics received the car. The repair could begin before the end of the third training session, which was crucial in the end. Despite the hectic preparation, Ricciardo made it over the Q2 hurdle: “Because the engine was completely new I had to have it on the first runcalibrate. Not all of the power was available. In addition, I couldn't try out the Ultrasoft tires beforehand, which meant that my hairpin slipped a bit out of the way. In the end it was very close. ”
In the second qualifying round things went much better for the 28-year-old. In the Q3 final, Ricciardo was only one and a half tenths short of the fastest time of his team-mate Max Verstappen. The man from Perth could live with that. In the race, Red Bull looks for the podium. “Ferrari seems a bit far away. But Mercedes didn't look so convincing in the long runs. I hope we can fight them ”, Ricciardo looked hopefully to Sunday.
Hope for an alternative strategy
From the tire tactics, Red Bull went a different way than the cars the first two rows. While Ferrari and Mercedes start on the soft rubbers, the two RB14s will start on ultrasofts. This could be an advantage, especially when sprinting to the first corner. “If the preparation had gone better with us, we might have thought about softs. But because we knew we were in the third row, we have to do something different with the strategy in order to get by. The two-stopper is the more aggressive variant. But it's also more fun, ”Ricciardo grinned.
Max Verstappen is also combative before the race. “I hope that we can do something with the strategy. Maybe something will change in the balance of power with the warmer temperatures and the different conditions in the race. But Ferrari was very strong today. And I don't think they'll completely collapse with the tires tomorrow. However, they cannot use their Qualifying Power mode in the race. That's why we should be much closer to it in the long run. ”