HARD KNOCK: Red Bull drivers Daniil Kyvat (left) and Daniel Ricciardo will start the Austrian GP right at the back of the grid on June 21. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson
VIENNA, Austria - Red Bull looks set to start stone last on the grid for its home race in Austria next weekend (June 21 2015).
The embattled team has acknowledged that, after burning through unreliable Renault engines early in the 2015 season, grid penalties for fitting unscheduled fifth units will inevitably strike.
It had been suggested that Canada would have been a good place to begin taking the pain but Red Bull knew it would struggle there but at least have an opportunity to fight back with overtaking moves.
Even though Red Bull owns the 'Red Bull Ring' and promotes its Austrian home race, it appears the team has decided is would be strategically better for Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat to serve their penalties there.
Red Bull was badly off the pace in Canada and the finger off blame was pointed directly at the Renault engine.
"In terms of the engine," the team's Helmut Marko told Auto Motor and Sport, "we are in a worse position than the previous year. The GPS comparisons on the straights are frightening."
Indeed, while every other major team improved between Canada 2014 and Canada 2015, Red Bull took a step backwards to the tune of a half-second a lap. That means the team's best hope for a decent result in the near future lies in Hungary and the tight, twisty, Monaco-like, Budapest circuit.
Team boss Christian Horner explained: "It will probably be our strongest track for the year so it is important that we start as high up as possible."
'MADE THE MOST SENSE'
Before then, however, F1 will travel to Austria, so Horner said taking a "tactical" penalty there made "the most sense".
"We must expect that we will be on the last row of the grid," he was quoted as saying, adding that Ricciardo and Kvyat might be further penalised if they cannot serve their full penalties by qualifying in the top 10.
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