Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo doesn't think his outfit can challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for outright victory, suggesting third place is the best he can hope for.
Thankfully, the weekend's Formula One dramas all concerned events that happened off the track, with both Caterham and Marussia going into administration, after which a rumored boycott by the small teams was avoided. That gave the 18 drivers left on the grid freedom to focus on making the most of the Texas sunshine for Sunday's US Grand Prix.
To paraphrase Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta, 'Remember, remember the twenty-first of September.' That's the day the 2014 Formula One Championship took another big turn – and at one of the year's least interesting races, traditionally – putting Lewis Hamilton back at the top of the standings. Not only that, it did so by borrowing the template from the British Grand Prix this year: put Hamilton in front, retire Nico Rosberg.
In the two weeks it's taken Formula One to move from Belgium to Italy, fleet-footed rumor has outrun the driver transfer market – Fernando Alonso can't issue enough denials of a departure from Ferrari, McLaren isn't sure what it wants to do with its drivers, Lotus has found out why it stinks this year and that the problem can't be fixed this year, and Nico Rosberg is said to have donated a team-ordered six-figure fine to charity to atone for his Belgian waffling. Oh, and Lewis Hamilton reg
Three Free Practice sessions left us thinking Lewis Hamilton looked good to claim another victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas and close up the Driver's World Championship race, but the first qualifying session for the 2014 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix threw out that script. A fuel leak in Q1 set Hamilton's car aflame and he never set a time. His chassis damaged beyond repair, the team built him a new one and he started from pit lane. That same session also claimed Ferrari's Kimi Räikk&oum
Qualifying for the British Formula One Grand Prix was just as much a surprise for fans as it was for teams. Certain team weather radar displays didn't accurately pinpoint storm systems over the track, and in the case of at least two teams, the lack of data was compounded by poor decision making. That's how both Ferraris and both Williams got kicked out of qualifying in Q3 – the drivers already on track took advantage of a dry spell between rains, but Ferrari and Williams waited too long to
Momentum. That was the word of the weekend at the last race in Monaco – Nico Rosberg retaking it, Williams getting reacquainted with it and Marussia tasting it for the first time, among other examples. That same, weighted term flew to Canada with the money circus known as Formula One, took all weekend to build and then walloped the front end of the field and the season on Sunday afternoon.
It's not hard to believe that 80 percent of the action at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix happened didn't have to do with straight-up racing. Mercedes AMG Petronas wasn't expected to maintain its obscene advantage over the field with Monaco being a short track that rewards corner speed over top speed, but they still ruled two of the three Free Practice sessions.
If the Bahrain Grand Prix was a bounty for the fans, the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix returned to the script entitled "Displays of Dominance" yet still offered a fair bit of action throughout the weekend. After not being completely comfortable in the car during the three practice sessions, Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes AMG Petronas on pole – again, passing Alain Prost and Jim Clark on the all-time list – in a wet qualifying session that no one expected to be a good study for a dr
The Malaysian Grand Prix is always one of the jokers on the Formula One calendar: you know it's going to rain during the weekend, but you don't know when. This year it began during qualifying, the dammed up clouds over the Sepang track dumping their reservoirs just before Q1 and causing a 50-minute delay.
There are few jobs in the world as highly coveted as a seat with a Formula One team - especially a top team like Red Bull, which has been dominating the series now for four years running. So when Mark Webber announced he was leaving F1 to join Porsche at Le Mans, it wasn't a matter of whether the team would find a replacement – it was only a matter of who that replacement would be. And now Red Bull has revealed the answer.
It's been four weeks since we last saw a Formula One race, when Lewis Hamilton improbably put his Mercedes-AMG Petronas in P1 in Hungary. Even more improbably, he held onto the first spot at the finish of the race, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus and Sebastian Vettel in the Infiniti Red Bull.
Many eyebrows were raised when Red Bull jumped from sponsoring existing F1 teams to buying its own 2005, but then the energy-drink giant surprised the pundits again by buying an unprecedented second team in 2006. So why'd they do it? To give the aspiring talents, which the outfit nurtures through its extensive young driver development program, a leg up into the pinnacle of motorsport.