When the Austrian Grand Prix’s return to the Formula 1 calendar was announced back in 2013, Red Bull was at the very peak of its powers.
With three drivers’ and constructors’ titles in the bag and a fourth of each to follow, the revival of the Austrian Grand Prix offered the opportunity for the team to flourish on home soil.
And yet in both editions of the race, the reality has been very different. 2014 saw Daniel Ricciardo finish eighth as teammate Sebastian Vettel retired, whilst Toro Rosso – the team owned by Red Bull – saw its cars retire.
This time around, Red Bull fared little better as Ricciardo picked up the team’s sole point of the weekend in tenth place.
Starting 18th thanks to a grid penalty, Ricciardo was the last driver to make a pit stop, going all the way until lap 45 of the race before coming in for a fresh set of tires.
With fresh super-softs in the final stint, he was able to easily pass Felipe Nasr for tenth place, but could go no further up the field.
“I was pleased with the car during the race,” Ricciardo said. “I was trying to push as much as I could towards the end to catch Perez but the boys behind me were fighting for the podium and I had to respect that.
“I was really happy with the option tire, the balance of the car worked well. To finish tenth is a good result from where we started today. I’m staying on here for a day’s testing this week and I hope that despite the bad weather forecast we’ll be able to get some useful work done before the next round in Silverstone.”
Kvyat was one of the few drivers to two-stop, having suffered some aero damage during the opening lap, and eventually finished behind Nasr in P12.
“It was a very tough race today,” the Russian explained. “The front wing was damaged on the first lap and from then on my race was massively compromised.
“The bodywork damage affected the grip for the entire race which made the car difficult to drive. I think points were possible today if it hadn’t been for the damage, so that’s disappointing.”