Red Bull struggles during qualifying for home grand prix

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After ending Mercedes’ winning streak in Canada, Red Bull has come back down to earth with a bump during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix as both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel struggled to fight for pole position.

In fact, Vettel did not even make it through to the top ten shoot-out on Saturday, qualifying down in thirteenth position. Ricciardo did manage to get through to Q3, finishing the session in fifth place behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

“It was tough out there,” Ricciardo admitted. “It’s been tough all weekend to be honest and it’s felt like we’ve had to squeeze everything out of the car to get into the top five, which we just managed to do today.

“All weekend we’ve been on the back foot and I think respect to the other teams, they managed to get their cars dialled in well for this weekend and we’ve just got to keep pushing. Fifth was the best we could have done in that session today.”

When asked to reflect on his qualifying session, Vettel had very little to say: “There were no real problems today, other than that we weren’t quick enough. Daniel was quicker in turn five and has been quicker in turn two all weekend.

“We’ll see how it goes for the race; it should be hotter tomorrow and hopefully we can make a big step and take on some of the other cars.”

Once again, when Mercedes failed to take full advantage of its lead over the rest of the field, Vettel was unable to capitalize. Instead, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were the big winners in qualifying, locking out the front row for Williams ahead of Nico Rosberg.

At the team’s first ever home grand prix in Austria, Red Bull will definitely have been hoping for better during qualifying.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.