Aside from creating the biggest upset of the year and winning the championship, Red Bull couldn’t really have done much more last year. A couple of wins and some thrown away victories were not a bad return on their advances.
The talents at Red Bull are not just limited to those on display. The car was created by a team of extremely talented engineers and designers, who nearly managed to negate the Renault/TAG Heuer’s deficiencies. This year the noise out of Renault is that their engine upgrades will allow them to match Ferrari. If the Red Bulls are able to create an aero package on par with last year’s then we could see a close fight at the top of the grid.
The car launches on the 26th, which is fairly late next week and we will have seen a whole host of interpretations of the new rules before we see the Red Bull design. But it’s going to be a must watch launch, just to see what direction this Adrian Newey influenced design will head in.
The driver pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo is one of the best on the grid. They have a vast wealth of talent and still manage to be the future direction of the sport. A man who should know, Mark Webber, reckons Ricciardo will keep Verstappen in his place and keep it calm in the pits. No matter what happens between them personality-wise, we know they will both be fighting hard on the track. This can only help to bring the Red Bull further up the time sheets and see them contending with the Mercedes.
The news coming out from Milton Keynes has been mainly style based on their Twitter and to be fair, we not sure how much of a difference a set of Red Bull luggage can really make to their laptimes.
The big news as far as Red Bull are concerned isn’t even Red Bull news, but that engine improvement announcement from Renault. If it’s true and they have closed the gap to Mercedes and are able to match Ferrari, then we’re in for a great season.
At the end of the year, we expect to see Red Bull firmly sat in second and securely so. It wont be a last race hope and points grab, they will be second by over 30 points, both above and below them.
Ricciardo will probably have a more consistent season, Verstappen to get more wins, but Ricciardo to finish ahead of his team mate and possibly ahead of Bottas, who could struggle learning the ropes at Mercedes.