Red Bull closer in Monaco but Montreal is ‘biggest test’

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2014Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes his team can put Mercedes under pressure in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The quickest Red Bull was two-tenths of a second slower than the pace-setting Mercedes on the first day of practice at the street track. Horner said the layout minimises the key weakness of the RB10.

“Its layout, the nature of the circuit, doesn’t put such a premium on straight-line performance which has obviously been our weakness this year,” he said. “So we’re hoping to give these guys [Mercedes] a run for their money this weekend.”

“For sure they’re going to be strong again here, they’ve always been strong in Monaco, but we’ve had a solid day today, the drivers have been feeling their way into the circuit and working on the set-up and it’s been an encouraging start to the weekend.”

Red Bull have emerged as the ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes despite a string of problems with their Renault engines in testing.

“Obviously when you consider where we were pre-season to where we are at this stage we’ve come a pretty long way in a couple of months,” said Horner. “Hopefully if we can keep that rate of progress up than we will be able to challenge the two Mercedes drivers before, hopefully, too long in the future.”

Although Red Bull have gained on Mercedes in recent races, Horner is wary that the next event on the calendar is be at a ‘power track’ where Red Bull could be vulnerable.

“It’s certainly closer and of course Renault are working very hard with Total as well to reduce the gap to Mercedes. We made a bit of a step in Barcelona and we feel we’re a little bit closer again this weekend.

“But I think that our biggest test is going to be in two weeks in Montreal as opposed to in the streets around Monaco.”

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17 comments on Red Bull closer in Monaco but Montreal is ‘biggest test’

  1. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 22nd May 2014, 17:15

    I’ll be in the stands at Canada and nothing would make me happier than to see a guy in a purple racing jumpsuit on top of the podium.

    Sadly for me I’m pretty sure the result will be the same as when I was there 2 years ago, except Hamilton will have a different race suit on this time.

  2. DaveW (@dmw) said on 22nd May 2014, 18:16

    What “step” was made in Spain such that RBR are closer “again”? If by “step” Horner means, doubling the distance you finish behind the opposition versus the previous race, then Horner has a funny way with words. RBR is falling further behind Mercedes, and even if they won this race on pace, that would still be true. I could possibly beat Usain Bolt in a foot race around my drawing room, but so what?

    From the perspective of a fan of the sport, I think it would be interesting to see Alonso win with one Mercedes DNF. Because then Alonso would be one win out of ~2nd spot in the WDC table, which is almost hard to believe given the domination of Mercedes thus far. And a run of luck and tenacity could see him actually grab on the to back of the MB speeding train for a few races at least.

    And anything can happen in Monaco. Between them how many times did Schumacher and Senna and Alonso stick it in the barrier on their own at this race?

    • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 22nd May 2014, 18:23

      Well, RBR were 1 second off in qualifying, so it seems, that they were further away from Mercedes than in previous races. But in race Vettel set fastest lap by 0,3 secs on 3 lap old tyres with 17 kg of fuel on board. Meanwhile Rosberg set his time on 6 lap old tyres and with 23 kg of fuel on board, while pursuing Hamilton, so pushing quite hard. Rosberg would’ve set fastest time on 3 stop strategy, but it wouldn’t be 1 secs faster than Vettel’s.

      • John said on 22nd May 2014, 18:45

        The fact remains that Vettel set the fastest lap. There is absolutely no way to argue that was not a sign of really substantial progress by Red Bull as that is the first time anyone has posted a faster lap than the Merc’s. Again today the Red Bulls are right there….the gap is closing.

        • Edvaldo said on 23rd May 2014, 5:43

          Of course there is.
          Vettel’s fastest lap on Spain doesn’t mean nothing. Of course if a car do a 3 stop strategy it will have a better race pace than other with only 2. And even so his lap was barely faster than that of Rosberg’s with older and slower tyres.

    • Dennis the menace (@) said on 23rd May 2014, 3:48

      If you are looking at overall race time it may seem at first glance that you are right, however to really have an accurate comparison you would have to be able to calculate how much time Ricciardo lost behind Bottas whilst the Mercedes drivers were unimpeded out in front.

      • Edvaldo said on 23rd May 2014, 5:48

        It’s not wrong to believe that Rosberg also lost time behind Hamilton. He was genuinely faster that day.

        And anyway, after Ricciardo take his 3rd place back, he still lost around 30s from there to the end of the race. I don’t see any reason to find this encouraging.

  3. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 22nd May 2014, 18:18

    Not sure if Redbull actually has made progress compared to Merc. To the field.. yes. With the possible exception of Ferrari. But come Montreal, I think they’ll probably be 1.2sec behind once more.

  4. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd May 2014, 21:16

    No camera inside the nose anymore on the RB?

  5. Horner saying they had a solid day made my day.. Enough of merc winning streak.. RBR gotta pin a win now when they have the chance..

    • SPIDERman said on 23rd May 2014, 1:11

      The only way mercedes can stopped from winning is …if Hamiton and Roseberg take each other out before the first corner… otherwise Alonzo is a distinct possibility… to emerge a winner..but very remotely ..a redbull win as well.

    • Dennis the menace (@) said on 23rd May 2014, 3:50

      Anything can happen at Monaco and if Seb or Dan can pull off an unlikely pole then they have every bit a chance. Here’s hoping for some wet weather tomorrow.

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