Daniel Ricciardo has left Red Bull long ago. However, his most painful memories still live on with the outfit.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen came in second after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. The seven-time world champion took his third win out of four races in 2021.
Verstappen had a flawless race except for one slip-up during his pit stop which cost him valuable time. This just goes to show that Red Bull still needs to up its game if it wants to stand a chance at defeating Mercedes.
It does not seem like much, but a two-second delay, especially in the pit lane can become a matter of winning or losing.
Verstappen’s only pit stop lasted four seconds, which was two seconds more than it should have. This was because his rear left tyre wasn’t ready as he pulled in.
This mistake reminded F1 broadcaster and journalist Jennie Gow of Red Bull’s infamous mistake with Daniel Ricciardo back in Monaco in 2016.
The Aussie was told to come into the pit but when he arrived, his tyres were not ready. This led to an excruciating delay which cost him his first win of the season, and his first win at F1’s most iconic circuit.
“Just looking at replays of the Max Verstappen first pit stop where the rear left (tyre) wasn’t ready, and I just get cold sweats looking at things like that,” Gow said on the Chequered Flag podcast.
“It does take me back to Monaco where it was Daniel Ricciardo, he could have won the race but his tyres weren’t ready.
“Not as bad an incident as that but still, looking on you still get that, ‘Oh, not now, not now!’”
F1 commentator Ben Edwards also recalled Ricciardo’s dark day as he saw Verstappen go through a similar situation. He was also ‘surprised’ that Red Bull could let something like this happen.
“That incident at Monaco hurt Red Bull so badly, they were so bitterly disappointed that Ricciardo didn’t win that day, and it was about communication,” Edwards said.
“Monaco’s different because the way pit lane is laid out and getting access to things is very different from most circuits. Barcelona is a very straightforward track from that point of view, but there clearly was a communication issue.
“There are so many people talking on the radio when they’re making strategy decisions bringing a car in, that it’s very important that they have in place the priorities that everyone knows when it’s absolutely crucial what you’ve got to do.”
Late call for pitstop destroyed race
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer thinks that a ‘late call’ for the pit stop is to be blamed for the incident.
“There’s always a late call for a pit stop but this one, I think there was a slight delay because this must have been right on the exit of the chicane almost, seeing that if Verstappen didn’t pit, he would be passed by Hamilton, then the race is done,” Palmer told Chequered Flag.
“I think they realised not only were they protecting the undercut, they were protecting the race lead because Hamilton was crawling over the back of Verstappen, who clearly was losing the rear tyres.
“It must have been a super late call which was the right call but that long pit stop could have cost them the lead regardless.”
Hamilton and Verstappen have managed to finish in the top 3 in all races this season.
Initially, it seemed that Red Bull will be posing a significant threat to Mercedes. However, the Silver Arrows have been able to keep its rival outfit at bay with ease.
Do you think Red Bull can gather more wins? Let us know in the comments below!