Is The Extreme Brand Red Bull Racing Under Pressure At Monaco?
For the purists, the biggest race of the F1 calendar kicks off on Sunday afternoon. Although there has been a backlash recently, the Monaco GP gets pulses racing like no other Grand Prix. It has the history, the scenery, and the cars on a knife edge for 40+ laps. However, all the talk is about Red Bull Racing this weekend. The challengers after the big two of Ferrari and Mercedes, RBR finished top of second practice on Thursday. And, they have already won a race this year thanks to Ricciardo’s victory in China. Plus, Verstappen grabbed a podium in Barcelona. So, why are they under pressure to perform this weekend?
The Favorites Tag
It’s not often Hamilton or Vettel come into a weekend lagging behind with the bookies. In fact, LH has come off the back of two huge wins to lead the championship race. Still, the fact the Scuderia and the Silver Arrows are behind this weekend says a lot about the Red Bull car. It’s by no means as powerful thanks to the lack of force in the Renault engine, yet they do have Newey and his aerodynamic prowess. Because the track in Monte Carlo is tight and slow, they are seen as firm favorites. Driving under this pressure may be a tricky proposition considering they aren’t used to the tag.
Ricciardo Vs Verstappen
Last year, the teammates seemed to get on rather well all things considered. Of course, the fact they weren’t battling for the title probably helped. 2018 is different as there have been numerous clashes, the main one being in Azerbaijan. And, even though Horner and the stewards blamed both drivers, Verstappen has seemed as if he needs an auto accident attorney at times this year. With each unable to manage the race with no real chance of winning, the tension is palpable for Monaco. One mistake and Red Bull may be toast.
RBR understand they have a great driver in the form of Danny Ric and want to keep his seat. The problem is that Ricciardo seems to be getting disillusioned with the lack of opportunities. There’s no doubt Red Bull is the best of the rest, yet they are not title contenders either. And, that is where both drivers want to be ultimately. Verstappen, of course, is younger and has time on his side. Ricciardo doesn’t and neither does RB as his contract runs out soon. A poor showing here could prove to the Aussie that he needs to move to fulfill his dreams.
The dastardly plan didn’t work and now Renault has jumped ship. Honda may prove to be a wise move, but recent history doesn’t suggest this to be the case. There is still a while to go before Red Bull and Toro Rosso have Honda engines, but the simmering discontent in the background adds another extra twist to the story. Can they get through the weekend with a win, convince Ricciardo to stay, and improve the Honda engine?
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