Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is confident the team has not missed its last chance to win a race in 2017 after losing out to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Singapore.
Red Bull ran strongly throughout the Singapore race weekend, with Ricciardo boldly stating the team would win after qualifying third for the race.
A wet-dry affair marred by a start-line crash allowed Hamilton to sweep from fifth to first, while Ricciardo was left to settle for P2 for the third straight year in Singapore.
With none of the remaining circuits appearing to suit Red Bull’s RB13 car as well as Singapore, Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to share the spoils through the final six races of the year.
However, Ricciardo is sure that Red Bull will get another opportunity to add to its surprise victory in Baku earlier this season, which came about in surprising circumstances.
“Malaysia, obviously there were a few incidents last year but I think our general pace wasn’t too bad so we might be stronger than we think there,” Ricciardo said, looking ahead to next weekend’s race in Kuala Lumpur.
“Malaysia, Japan and then we’ll see. I think we can be podium cars, probably Malaysia, Japan, Austin.
“We might need some alternate conditions to really give us raw pace to fight for a win.
“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re not going to win one.
“I believe we’ll get at least one chance somewhere.”
Car No.: 20
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 14th
Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.
For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.
Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.
Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.
Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.
That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.
The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.
Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.
Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.