Red Bull did not quite have the ‘party’ weekend in Australia this time round, as Red Bull couldn’t quite set the ball rolling during both qualifying and race day.
With the Albert Park Circuit not being a very ‘overtaking’ friendly race track, you couldn’t have expected a big enough performance from Red Bull on race day(in terms of race position) as the two drivers had failed to put in a fast enough qualifying lap.
Hamilton was a comfortable 0.6 seconds faster than Raikkonen(who was 2nd fastest) during qualifying and apparently he was aided by this ‘party mode’ that the team switched onto during the dying stages of Q3.
Red Bull however, do not have that luxury and thus are close to 0.4 s behind on lap time(when you consider power unit performance alone).
Being that far behind in qualifying could impact Red Bull’s chances of winning the constructor’s championship this time round as well, despite having a good enough package and thus Horner has suggested that engine modes should be brought in line with parc ferme regulations, so as to prevent teams from changing engine modes between qualifying and the race.
“There are bits in the pipeline, but that’s more of a question for Renault than for me because they’re obviously not divulging everything they’re up to. It’s certainly something we’re pushing for.
“Alternatively you could say perhaps you should have the same engine mode [for qualifying and the race]. Like in parc ferme when the cars leave for qualifying, maybe engine modes should be the same from the moment you leave the garage until the end of the grand prix.” he said.
Horner is confident of Red Bull’s performances in races but admits that his team needs to be at the forefront during qualification to make this a memorable season.
“It’s extenuated here [in Australia],” he added. “Bahrain you can overtake, China you can overtake. But it exposes you.
“You’ve only got to look at the speed trap [in qualifying] where all the Renault engines were grouped together with varying amounts of downforce on the car, so that’s where we need to make progress.
“We know we have a good race car, the negative for us is still the deficit in qualifying. The ‘party mode’… we’d like to go to Lewis’ party!” he concluded.