Red Bull’s struggles set to get far worse in Bahrain

Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, looks on during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Red Bull Racing’s struggles in 2017’s faster generation of Formula 1 are set to get worse for the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix due to characteristics of the circuit praying on the weakness of their audacious RB13 chassis.

Daniel Ricciardo conceded to before the Chinese Grand Prix that Red Bull have struggled in comparison to Mercedes and Ferrari in 2017 because the team “don’t have enough rear grip.”

Mario Isola – a representative from Formula 1’s tire supplier, Pirelli – said earlier this week the “biggest gains” in Bahrain come from ” keeping the rear tires in good condition.”

Pirelli’s media department described the circuit as one that “above all tests traction.”

After taking two wins and finishing ahead of Ferrari in the 2016 Formula 1 season, Red Bull have only amassed 37 points in the Constructors World Championship so far. In comparison, they’re now 28 points adrift of Ferrari.

Because of slippery conditions, the team were lucky to finish P3 and P4 in last week’s Chinese Grand Prix. Max Verstappen, however, was honest in saying post-race, “on pure pace in the dry we are still a bit slow for a podium.”

Daniel Ricciardo leads Max Verstappen during the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Bahrain race is vastly different from China because it is held during the night. Because of this, FP2 is the only session that provides representative track conditions for the teams to practice in.

Max Verstappen admitted this unique race start time “means the conditions change a lot.” He added this can make the track “very slippery.”

All may not be lost, as Ricciardo did also state in China, “I don’t know if … we don’t have enough [rear grip] or we haven’t set the car up in the right way.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will take place between the 14th-16th of April.

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Steven Walton is an 18-year-old Journalism Student at the Ara Institute of Canterbury. He previously attended St Andrew's College in Christchurch, where he excelled at History and Classical Studies. Steven is the Editor-in-Chief at Green Flag F1 and spends most of his days living, breathing, and immersing in the Formula 1 world.

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