Saturday at the Circuit de Catalunya was a disappointing affair for both Red Bull drivers. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were gutted after Red Bull, once again fell out of contention compared to Ferrari and Mercedes.
The two looked firmly in the frame to challenge for a possible front row start. But when Mercedes and Ferrari cranked things up a notch, Red Bull were left in the dust. Both drivers were over six-tenths slower than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
The culprit, once again seemed to be the underpowered Renault power unit in the RB14. It was unable to keep up with its rival engines in the first two sectors.
“I don’t really know what I could have done more with what we had,” Ricciardo said.
“With the laps we put in I thought we would only be a couple of tenths from pole, not six or seven.
“It’s a little bit disheartening.”
The Austrian marquee usually finds its feet after some in-season development. The team was confident that they had gained around half a second through upgrades for the Barcelona race.
This explains why Ricciardo was frustrated as he expected to be higher in the pecking order.
“You never really know until qualifying. Friday’s paint one picture but you’re never sure what is going to happen,” he claimed.
“We both put good laps on the Supersofts in Q3. It wasn’t the preferred tyre, that is why I went for the Soft tyre at the end of Q3.”
Meanwhile on the other end of the garage, Max Verstappen stuck to the Supersoft for both runs. Speaking after qualifying, he said: “I still don’t know what the faster tyre is to be honest.
“I chose Supersoft, Daniel went on the Soft. I don’t think many people will actually choose the Supersoft [for the race].
“Over one lap you can maybe go a little bit faster but they will fall apart over a longer run.
“So a lot of people will be choosing the Soft and the Medium.”
The Dutchman was just 0.002s ahead of Ricciardo in fifth and sixth respectively for Sunday’s race.
“We just don’t have that power mode for Q3,” Max Verstappen bemoaned.
“Turn 1 to Turn 4 is flat out so it is even harder for us as we just lose more top speed.
“And from Turn 7 to Turn 10 is also straight now so it’s all a bit more painful for us and it just gets even harder.
“And together with my final lap I couldn’t continue after Turn 1 as I had a moment there, so the gap is probably a bit bigger than it should be.”