Friday, March 14, 2014

Engine Blood's Guide To 2014: Red Bull

IN SHORT: Taurine cars.  Geddit?

HISTORY: Formerly Jaguar, which itself was formerly Stewart, the moribund outfit was taken over by the world-renowned purveyors of sickly energy drinks: Monster.  Only joking!  Despite a pedigree in lower formulae and extreme sports, nobody expected the kind of success that the newly-christened Lucozade team (ho!  They're on a roll) achieved.

For the last five seasons they have produced one of the best cars; in four of those seasons, they have won the both drivers and constructors championships as if from nowhere.  The dream team will most probably dissolve in the next few seasons - Vettel to Ferrari seems a sure thing at some future date, and boss Christian Horner is Bernie Ecclestone's hand-picked successor - but for now, they are the big dogs that run this yard.


Source: Metro
Ah.  Well, that's not too bad - though there were no pictures of it moving for obvious reasons, so we've had to go for an awkward smiling driver shot - and if you ignore the ugly black hump at the front, it's probably the most conventional looking car we've seen.  Though that's the least of their problems now...

ENGINE: Renault.  Red Bull and Renault's partnership has been absolutely bulletproof for the past four years, but pre-season testing has not gone well for any Renault-engined teams.  There's a lot of bullish (oh!  A delicious pun.  Will the jokes never end?) talk about how they might well be five seconds faster than anyone else, they just can't tell as they haven't actually got going properly yet; still, must be a worrying time for the champions elect.


1 (5). Sebastian VETTEL (GER) - Last year: Champion (397 points, 13 wins - here we go: Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Korea, Japan, India, Abu Dhabi, USA and Brazil)

3. Daniel RICCIARDO (AUS) - Last year: 14th (20 points, best finish: 7th, China and Italy)

Sebastian Vettel - one of the greats?  The debate rages on around the world, except in Britain where everyone's decided he's useless despite all evidence to the contrary.  In all seriousness, all we can accuse him of is being highly driven and better than us at high speed driving; admittedly it would be interesting to see what he could do in a worse car, but we may well get that chance this season.

Daniel Ricciardo is the second product of Red Bull's total approach to driver's careers, having been fed up the ladder and through Toro Rosso.  It's been hard to tell exactly how talented he is thus far, but the team could have had its pick of drivers and went for him, and it's not like wages need to be cut back at present, so we're looking forward to finally meeting him this year.

LAST YEAR: Champions, 596 points

Mark WEBBER (AUS) - 3rd (199 points, best finish: 2nd - Malaysia, Great Britain, Japan, Abu Dhabi and Brazil)

Despite the never-ending splurge of Vettel wins listed above, things did not look so rosy at the midway point of the season, with both Mercedes drivers plus Alonso and Raikkonen snapping at Vettel's heels.  It was his usual extraordinary run in the Asian races which really put the tin hat on everything, with Webber opting to hang up his helmet rather than risk the massive overdose of Canberra Milk that could have got him back on terms with his younger and better team mate.

PROSPECTS: Haven't managed much running in testing, so it's looking pretty poor - but we suspect all is not lost for them quite yet.

No comments: