• No podium places all year
NOT HAPPY TO BE HOME: Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo at speed on the track the team owns in Austria - the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Home race? Yes - but despondency reigns. Image: AFP / Samuel Kubani
• What else can happen?'
• Champs now only fourth
SPIELBERG, Austria - Australian
Daniel Ricciardo understands the frustration of his Red Bull Formula
1 team's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz who has been leading a
chorus of criticism about the state of the sport.
Renault-powered Red Bull won four
consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' titles (2010-13) until the new ‘power
units’ were introduced and engine supplier Renault struggled to find
performance and reliability.
SPEED WEEK CHAT
Neither Ricciardo nor Russian mate
Daniil Kvyat has been on the podium so far in 2015 and the team is fourth
overall ahead of its home Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring here in Spielberg.
Mateschitz said of Renault in an
interview with Speed Week magazine: “They take from us not only time and money
but also the will and motivation. There is no driver and no chassis more able
to compensate for the lack of horsepower.
“What else has to happen that we
will lose our motivation completely?"
in Friday's free practice and facing a 10-place grid penalty at Sunday’s race
start as punishment for an engine change, said Mateschitz's comments were born
of simple frustration.
"We're now in the eighth race
of the season so the frustration can start to build," he said. "We
know we're still at a disadvantage. We were in 2014 but were optimistic that we'd
close the gap a lot in 2015 but nearly halfway through the season we're more or
less in the same position.
"I think this is where the
comments and frustration came from."
'OVER-REGULATED, DULLED DOWN'
The wave of negativity from Red
Bull, at a time when the sport is discussing changes from 2017, has taken on a
more concerted look this week with criticism from several quarters within the
Red Bull's motorsport consultant
Helmut Marko and former Red Bull driver Mark Webber, in an interview released
by the energy drinks company, accused the sport of being over-regulated and
On Friday the front page of a
special edition of the Red Bulletin magazine that is printed at the circuit and
handed out in the paddock carried the headline What's Wrong with Formula One?.
Inside, an article under the byline
of triple F1 champion and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, a friend
and compatriot of Mateschitz, argued that the sport had "basically been
regulated to death down the years".
"Everyone sticks their oar
in," it added.