myurr wrote:bonjon1979 wrote:I think Red Bull are in a spot of bother. The RB8 isn't fast enough to get the pole in front of Mclaren or Mercedes and their car doesn't have the straight line speed to be able to overtake, even in DRS zones. It means that they're kind of screwed as they're not able to lead from the front and just pull away. Last year they were so much faster due to their superior downforce it didn't matter they were slower in a straight line. It's a different story this year.
This I agree with. The warning signs were actually there last year for them with Webber. He was unable to extract as much from the car in qualifying last year for reasons widely written about, and then wasn't always able to make much progress throughout the races despite having a downforce advantage. This year they don't even have that advantage.
In Vettel's hands at least the car is still kind to its tyres and this is helping them to get okay results by choosing good strategies, but they've also been plenty lucky with the results they have had this year in terms of other cars in front of them tripping up or making poor strategic decisions.
I'm going to make a bold prediction that may come back and bite me, but I'm going to say that they're not going to stage a come back this year. I think they're still having to divert too much resource into figuring out an exhaust solution that's only going to give them a couple of tenths in lap time and that they have got the fundamental philosophy of the car wrong through their belief it would run at the front. McLaren have more downforce but are faster in a straight line, and some of the other cars are so much faster in a straight line they can afford to compromise their setup and crank on more downforce to get them at least near Red Bull. As all the teams get better at managing the tyres I think Red Bull may even lose some of that advantage that they currently have with Vettel's side of the garage.
So they're going to face a huge question. Do they concentrate a lot of effort on sorting this car and evolving it for next year; do they throw all their resources into next years car in order to address some of these fundamental issues but then suffer in 2014; or do they effectively concede that they're not going to have an easy time of it this year or next and throw their resources at the 2014 car?
I personally think that Ferrari and McLaren have learnt from 2009 that they will have to compromise their development rate next year in order to spend enough time and effort on the 2014 car. McLaren have the enviable situation of having a solid base for their developments for the next two years, so they can throw everything at just evolving the car and save the complete rebuild for 2014. I think we're going to see Ferrari throw everything at this years car to try and get it sorted enough that next year they too can evolve the car. I believe we'll see them take some huge risks with the car, even sacrificing pace for a few races whilst they experiment if it means they have a solid car by the end of the year.
Red Bull are stuck in a middle ground between the two. They're close enough to the front of the pack that they need to bring a constant stream of updates to the car to keep them in the title hunt, but they're far enough away with fundamental traits of the car to sort out that they're going to need to throw a lot of resources at the car both this year and next in order to fight for the championships.
I think you're right. They can't add anything like an EBD that'll give them a whole chunk of time. They might get the double DRS sorted quicker than others which could give them 3 tenths in qualifying but beyond that, i'm not sure what they can do.