With fewer laps compared to other teams in 2017 grand prix grid, Red Bull is now a notch lower that McLaren in the odometer stakes this Formula 1 season.
Despite the team’s first win of the season with Daniel Ricciardo clocking in first in the Azerbaijan GP, the fourth retirement of teammate Max Verstappen out of the last six races was a bittersweet moment for the squad.
Red Bull’s debacle has been compounded given that the most recent stoppage means Verstappen has the least number of laps this season with only 277. Antonio Giovinazzi and Jenson Button, both temporary stand-ins are the only ones behind him.
Red Bull is now trailing Mclaren although the latter has had problems with Honda reliability, their drivers Fernando Alonso as well as Stoffel Vandoorne have been able to complete the Baku race.
Red Bull was able to finish only 685 laps in the first eight races of the season, 31 less than McLaren. To compare, Force India and Mercedes have 956 and 946 respectively, the most for teams this year.
Recent engine troubles have frustrated the team –although not all retirements were because engine or car failure as Verstappen’s exit at Spain was due to a collision with Kimi Raikkonen.
“The two failures that Max has were totally unrelated, this was a sudden loss of oil pressure and they [the cars] don’t like not having oil in them,” team principal Christian Horner told reporters after Baku.
He emphasized the need for diagnosing the trouble.
“Renault need to do the right post-mortem and understand what the right cause of failure is.”
Horner, however, was non-committal when asked if the push for performance was the culprit. “I’m not sure, to be honest. You know, the cause of failure that we had in Montreal was nothing to do with performance.
The team principal was in no mood of pointing fingers.
“You can’t fault the people on the floor and behind the scenes that are pushing hard. And, you know, as a race team we’re always impatient to have more performance and better reliability.”