The 800.000 € worth hospitality of Red Bull wanted to beat all records of extravaganza and to count as many glitterati possible over the Paddock’s luxurious and fancy motorhomes; this is yet the last thing the beverage company can do in order to be on the mouth of people after the bitter taste that its results have done during 2019 season.
Home Grand Prix is a breath needed to escape from the ordinary runner-up position cemented so far: in the Styrian Alps the results should come in order to rebuild the sixth season after Sebastian Vettel’s finger is missing from podiums.
However even in Spielberg (please keep call it Zeltweg!) quali, the two RB15 seemed far from being sisters: while Mad Max is confident, Gasly resembles to have the common symptoms of Kvyatite; to be the last car of Q3 (Vettel’s problems kept him on 10th) at 1.1 seconds to the top, 0.5 from the teammate. Is he suffering “a little bit” of pressure?
After being protagonist of one the Friday’s dramas, Max recovered completely:
I’m really happy about qualifying. All weekend the car has felt competitive and also from the engine side we have worked really well with Honda to extract a little more power. To be third is great and I was smiling in the car when I finished the lap. We definitely got the most out of it today and through the corners we were really quick. To be closer to the pole time is also a great step forwards. As soon as I stopped the car and turned the engine off I could hear the crowd. There are so many Dutch and Austrian Red Bull fans here which gives me a lot of positive energy and motivation. I haven’t done a long run but normally we are a little stronger in the race than qualifying. There is a long way to go before we fight for victory but this is a really good start for the Team and we will give it everything we have tomorrow
On the number 10 side of the garage, Pierre Gasly was far from being happy:
It’s a shame and I’m disappointed with myself not to put my lap together when it really mattered. I didn’t do the job properly in Q3 and this is something I need to focus on. We had good pace and overall I think we made a step. We had a really good Free Practice and we managed to build everything up from there. There are a lot of positives to take from Q1 and Q2 where we were strong. Everything was looking good for Q3, my first lap wasn’t ideal but on my second and final run, I made a mistake into Turn One and by Turn Three I had lost three or four tenths, otherwise I think we could have been P5. Now I need to move on and focus on tomorrow. We can recover, nothing is done, and we’ll try everything to come back in the race. I think we have a strong car and now we need to look at what we can do with the strategy
An on-the-season replacement will be on programme like Daniil Kvyat in 2016? Time will tell us. It will tell if the Marko strategy of squeezing and pressing young talents into the Red Bull programme is going to be worth it: Antonio Felix Da Costa contract ripped just before the 2013 season still claims for justice. But also it will tell if pressurizing a driver not letting do mistakes at the first season for a top team can release good results for the squad.