Red Bull Set to Lock Out Back Row of the Grid in Austria
Red Bull's engine reliability woes mean the Milton Keynes squad are already resigned to starting at the back at their 'home' race in Austria next w...
Red Bull's engine reliability woes mean the Milton Keynes squad are already resigned to starting at the back at their 'home' race in Austria next week.
In a week when Red Bull boss Christian Horner suggested that engine supplier Renault may pull out of F1 altogether at the end of the season, his team is likely to make a tactical decision to start both cars at the back of the grid at the Red Bull Ring.
With both Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat already on their fourth engine of the season, fitting a fifth unit in Austria will mean an automatic back of the grid start for both men.
It's a tactical ploy aimed at ensuring that Red Bull have fresh engines for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, likely to be the team's best opportunity for a strong result in the foreseeable future.
Starting from the back in Austria makes "the most sense," says Horner.
"[Hungaroring] will be probably our strongest track for the year so it is important that we start as high up as possible. We must expect that we will be on the last row of the grid [in Austria]."
Meanwhile Horner's claim that Renault may pull out of F1 at the end of the season if the rules on in-season engine development are not relaxed for 2016 appears to have been taken seriously among his rivals.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that some allowances may need to be made to allow rival teams to become more competitive, though the Austrian has warned of the dangers of spiralling development costs.
"We are open minded about the situation," he said. "We understand Renault and Honda are in a difficult position. Discussions need to be held."
However, Wolff counsels caution in opening up the regulations.
"Cost reduction is a hot topic at the moment, and in-season development probably represents a double-digit million [euro] additional cost factor," he added.
Daniel Ricciardo will have a new chassis to go with his fifth engine next weekend as the Red Bull driver looks to find a reason for his difficulties at the Canadian Grand Prix.
"I don't know. It was my worst race," the Australian admitted.
"I can still laugh because I know that there was something fundamentally wrong with the car. I'm not a second slower than Kvyat and I haven't suddenly forgotten how to drive."
"We will know in Austria, as I am scheduled to get a new chassis there.
"I don't think that it's the chassis, as I've never been wild with the kerbs or hit the wall or anything – there is nothing that could explain that sort of damage."
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