Why were Red Bull so slow at the British GP?

Monday, 09 july 2018, 09:52 , by Matthew Scott

Christian Horner has explained the reasons for Red Bull's "insane" lack of pace compared to Mercedes and Ferrari at the British Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were comfortably off the pace of their rivals in qualifying and the race, despite having won the Austrian Grand Prix at a similarly power-sensitive Spielberg circuit a week previously.

Verstappen took advantage of Mercedes double DNF at the Red Bull Ring to take his first win of 2018, but Silverstone proved too much for Red Bull. Ricciardo finished fifth, while Verstappen suffered a brake failure and had to retire.

The Renault power units deficit to Ferrari and Mercedes is nothing new, but it was a shock to see Red Bull's aero advantage trimmed so much around Silverstone's flowing corners.

However, Horner says that the aerodynamic performance of all cars since 2017 has turned corners into straights, meaning the vast majority of the lap is done at full throttle.

"We were just hugely exposed, in both defence and attack," Horner said, before focusing on Kimi Raikkonen's pass on Verstappen at the second safety-car restart to take fourth place.

"You could see at the restart with Kimi, it was a bit like Mexico 2015 the amount of additional power. We ran our qualifying mode at the restart versus Kimi's and you can see the difference.

"You could see how hard Max was having to work to keep Kimi behind him - their overspeed at the restart was insane. And at the second restart he had a moment at Stowe yet was still all over Max into Turns 2 and 3.

"And unfortunately for Daniel he just couldn't attack Valtteri [Bottas] while having a superior tyre and grip and performance. Even with the DRS open we were still dropping back.

"The problem with Silverstone now is that it's such a wide open throttle circuit, you're talking 82 per cent in qualifying full throttle.

"So corners like Copse, Becketts, Stowe – they're not quite the challenge they were in these cars, because everybody is flat through Copse now."

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Comments (4)

  • Crispin Hudd
    This track (and possibly Monza) are the two tracks that were always going to show up the weakness of Redbull, well the weakness of their engine anyway! Put a decent engine in that car and boy it should fly
  • Robin DaSilva
    If you can drive around the outside of a Ferrari at Luffield but cant keep up on the straights I'd say they were running too much downforce.
  • Michael Swales
    Because of the french engine, like the meerkat says SIMPLE

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