The Red Bull duo will go into the Canadian Grand Prix quietly confident as Max Verstappen heads to Montreal with the upgraded Renault engine that his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had fitted for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Verstappen claims that the Red Bulls can come away from Canada with a podium. In conversation with SkySports, he said,
“Hopefully with the new engine update it should be a positive race for us. We’ll try and aim for a podium.”
The boy’s probably spot on with that assumption. Red Bull has definitely overtaken Ferrari as the closest competitor to the dominant Mercedes in the opening quarter of the season.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) June 6, 2016
Red Bull’s biggest challenger for a Montreal podium will be Williams, who, despite being nowhere in Monaco, will fly here. Their cars’ weakness is an aerodynamic one, their strength is power. Monaco is a twisty, highly technical arena in which the more aerodynamic-centric cars always flourish. That’s why there wasn’t a gap to the Mercedes. It’s also why the best aerodynamic chassis did so well, in particular, Red Bull and McLaren.
If there was a track on the calendar that provided a polar opposite challenge to Monaco, it would be Montreal – where speed is king. Long straights followed by extreme braking-zones mean that the cars quicker in a straight line dominate. On paper, this is good news for Mercedes and Williams but bad news for Red Bull. The nature of the circuit can change though with extreme weather, so the drivers will need to keep their cool.
It’s simple for Red Bull this weekend really. Make sure that Verstappen keeps it out of the barriers and don’t let Ricciardo down by forgetting what tyres you’re supposed to be putting on the car. You had one job tyre-guy! One job!