With more than 100 points behind in the World Constructors’ Formula 1 Championship after just seven races, Red Bull will not be able to compete with Mercedes this year.
This will continue to be the case as long as its bosses are not able to field a duo equivalent to the one formed by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo a few years ago.
Red Bull has tried to fill the gap left by the Australian, but it is clear that neither Pierre Gasly nor Alex Albon have been up to the task.
Despite all the excuses his bosses can find for him, the Thai driver has only scored 30 per cent of the points his team has scored this season.
It is worth remembering that during his three years of partnership with Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo has always been very close to the Dutchman in terms of performance and indeed beat him in the World Drivers’ Championship in 2017.
If he was still there this year and with the level of performance that the RB16 is showing, Mercedes would undoubtedly be under a lot more pressure.
Six-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton agrees. He believes that Red Bull’s main weakness is not having a pair of drivers as good as Mercedes’.
“People tend to downplay the fact that Red Bull has a great car this year and Max is doing a very good job with it.” says Hamilton
“Unfortunately, the two drivers are not as good as me and Valtteri and that makes it harder for them.” says the British driver.
“I experienced this many years ago when I was at McLaren. I was the driver who was always up front and didn’t have a teammate to back me up.” says Hamilton, perhaps describing his stint with Heikki Kovalainen as team mate, the only driver who wasn’t quite on pace with Lewis.
“…you get far fewer points in the manufacturers’ championship, which gives you fewer options in how you manage your strategy against your opponents.”