Image from RedBull.com
The fact that both Red Bull drivers this weekend were out qualified by their little bull baby brothers may on the surface appear to be because the Toro Rosso is just a better car than the RB11. After all both are powered by the same Renault engine.
However, in the 4 hours of Free Practice in Barcelona, Daniel Ricciardo managed just 32 laps whilst his Russian teammate fared a little better racking up 39. Meanwhile Sainz completed 75 laps and Verstappen 73.
The difference in setup mileage added to the fact that Red bull were evaluating their miracle new short nose, meant it was inevitable the big bulls were never close to being optimised for a single got lap.
During the race, the experience of Ricciardo came through, as he again finished ahead of the chasing pack behind the Mercedes. Ferrari and Williams pairings.
Kvyat managed only to split the Toro Rosso drivers, finishing P10, but potentially risked taking out Sainz Jnr on the first corner of the last lap.
TJ13 reported two months ago, that there were concerns within the Red Bull family over Daniil Kvyat. Max Verstappen and Sainz Jnr have soundly beaten the Russian in the simulator and he also allegedly has a ‘Kimi streak’, which was further cause for concern as early as the Barcelona first test.
Having exhausted his expletive bank on Renault, the good doctor Marko turned his attention inwards during the Spanish GP weekend. Speaking to German publication, Kleine Zeitung, Marko warned: “Our experienced guys need to look out because ironically the less experienced ones did the better job.”
Marko is of course blowing his own trumpet somewhat, as he explains, “I fought hard for Sainz. He did not have a lot of friends or supporters, but I’m used to that.
“The two of them are something extraordinary.”
Of course Daniel Ricciardo’s abilities and commitment to the cause are not in question, following his apparent dispatching of Sebastian Vettel in 2014.
However, as TJ13 has previously reported, the clock is ticking for the Russian big bull incumbent. And that clock is set to wind down now at the summer break following the Hungarian GP.
The Russian is a likeable individual with no airs and graces and when TJ13’s editor in chief visited Arden recently – there was nothing but praise for Daniil and his hard working attitude and team ethics.
Yet Helmut Marko is a taskmaster extraordinaire and he has the ear of the Red Bull Racing family’s ‘godfather.’