Red Bull were expected to dominate the Mexican Grand Prix but it was a lack of speed and power that ended up costing them. With an engine change due to issues, their driver Daniel Ricciardo is in good shape for qualifying at his home race.

The “Red Bull in Mexico GP qualifying” is a question that many are asking. Many are wondering what went wrong for the team? The answer to that question is not yet known.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Throw aside your Formula One formbook; it’s useless this year. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes fought back in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, just as it seemed like Max Verstappen was on his way to his maiden world championship.

You’d be hard pressed to find anybody in the Formula One paddock who predicted an all-Mercedes top row ahead of Saturday’s practice session, but that’s exactly what we’ll get for Sunday’s race. Furthermore, it will be Hamilton’s colleague Valtteri Bottas who will start from pole position on Sunday afternoon, perhaps resulting in yet another team order controversy.

But, before we go any further, let’s look at what went wrong with Red Bull.

‘Getting Tsunoda’d’ is a phrase that means ‘getting Tsunoda’d’

On the grid, Max Verstappen moves away from the Mercedes pole celebrations. Getty Images/Mark Thompson

Red Bull’s management immediately accused Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri for Verstappen’s lack of pole position following qualifying. Tsunoda, who is signed to Red Bull and drives for its junior team, was on the wrong side of the track at the wrong moment, jeopardizing Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen’s final qualifying laps.

Tsuonda would have been on his own fast lap and therefore too far down the track to worry the Red Bulls in a regular Q3 session, but a grid penalty for an engine change at the start of the weekend meant he had a different goal in mind. He had been put out on track purely to offer his AlphaTauri teammate, Pierre Gasly, a slipstream on the pit straight since he was slated to start from the back of the grid regardless of his lap time.

Tsunoda was on his way back to the pits after doing his work — Gasly went on to finish fifth on the grid owing to the tow — when he ran into the Red Bull drivers in the high-speed second sector of the lap. Despite the fact that his AlphaTauri was far off the racing line as Perez closed up on him, his presence and the dust he sprayed rattled the Red Bull in Turn 10 and caused the Mexican to make a mistake.

When Perez abandoned the road in front of him, Verstappen felt he was nearing an accident and pulled off the power appropriately, damaging his own lap.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner stated, “I guess we got Tsunoda’d.” “On their final lap, both drivers were up.” Max was two and a half tenths ahead, and I believe Checo was just under two tenths ahead, and I’m not sure why he was just cruising around that area of the track.

“It’s regrettable since it inconvenienced both drivers, who are both irritated. However, we’re still on the second row of the grid and have a terrific chance to win from there.”

Perez stated to the reporters after the session: “I was irritated because he wasn’t supposed to be there in Q3. However, it is what it is.”

To be fair to Tsunoda, there wasn’t much more he could have done to keep the Red Bull drivers out of his path. He drove entirely off the track to make room for Perez, and the fact that the stewards did not investigate whether he had obstructed Perez says all you need to know about whether he was in the wrong.

Tsuonda looked indifferent to Red Bull’s fury as he spoke to the journalists after getting out of his vehicle.

He said, “I didn’t mix up the Red Bull; it was simply a mistake by itself.”

“I’m not sure about Max. Is it possible that I slowed Max down as well?” As it dawned on him that he may be in trouble with his supervisors, he asked his press officer.

Even after seeing a video of the event, he was astonished to learn that he was being blamed.

“I got beyond [the track boundaries] and couldn’t do anything else.” I mean, I’m not sure where I should go.

“I received a countdown [from my engineer] regarding the Red Bulls’ close pace, but I was in sector two.”

“I’m not sure. I’d do the same thing if I had another opportunity. I’m not sure what I should do.”

Mercedes retaliated.

In Mexico, Valtteri Bottas won his 19th pole position of his career. Getty Images/Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1

Tsunoda’s blame also misses the reality that Red Bull was just not fast enough to defeat Mercedes in Q3 when it counted.

Horner believes both of his drivers had a 0.2s time lead before to the collision, but that was still short of the 0.350s Verstappen required to beat Bottas to pole and the 0.467s Perez needed.

Perhaps Verstappen and Perez might have gained even more time in the last sector, but if you sum together all of Verstappen’s best sector numbers, he would still be nearly a tenth of a second behind Bottas and a few hundredths behind Hamilton.

So, where did Mercedes get her speed?

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team manager, stated, “We were all startled.” “It appeared very clear that Max would win pole and that the battle for the other spots would be between us and Checo [Perez], and then we could see that qualifying was heading our way.”

“On the medium [tyre in Q2], we really began to outperform them, and they never had a lead on any of the laps in Q3.” Also, I think they were behind in the final lap [when they came across Tsunoda].

“So yes, that’s what makes the sport so intriguing to me, that performance can swing dramatically from one session to the next, and we’ve seen that happen to our disadvantage in Austin, and now it’s occurred to our benefit here in Mexico.”

Mercedes, according to Horner, discovered part of its surprising qualifying speed by resolving the turbo-related troubles it had in previous years at Mexico’s high altitude, implying that the idea that Red Bull was the favorite coming into qualifying was perhaps incorrect.

He described them as “extremely, very rapid.” “I believe we saw yesterday that their engine has been improved and that they have solved the concerns that they had before here.” As a result, they’ve clearly addressed the issue.

“I believe we underperformed in Q3, but the market is still very tight. I believe the race tomorrow will be quite close once again. They just have a decent straightline speed here, which will be difficult.”

This year, Wolff admitted that some “tuning” of the engine had resulted in increased performance.

He answered, “Yeah, we’ve optimized it for these circumstances.” “At the end of the day, you’re trying to extract power unit performance over the course of a calendar year, and outliers are tough to account for.”

“But it’s more of a tuning issue. It’s not as if we’ve turned the engine on its side. It’s only that we now know why it didn’t work well at high altitude.”

In the meanwhile, Verstappen attributed his third-place finish to problems with his own vehicle, rather than Tsunoda or Mercedes’ engine upgrades.

He said, “I simply believe we were incredibly sluggish and had awful grip in Q3.” “I believe we recovered a little bit on my final lap by putting the tyres into a better window, but we were still not where we wanted to be and how the vehicle was performing during the practice sessions.”

“So there was a bit of a puzzle there. However, we may race on different tyres tomorrow, so I anticipate the balance to be excellent once again.”

Team commands and tactics

In Mexico, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will line up next one other on the grid. Getty Images/Clive Mason

With Bottas starting ahead of Hamilton and the two Red Bulls nestled in behind, the race is sure to be exciting. Because of the lengthy run from the grid to Turn 1, drivers starting farther back typically benefit from a slipstream, yet there’s little question you’d prefer be on the first row than the second.

If Bottas maintains his advantage over Hamilton at the conclusion of the first lap, the grid order begs the issue of whether Mercedes will utilize team instructions. Prior to the weekend, all the debate was about whether Red Bull would deny Perez a home victory if he finished ahead of Verstappen, but Wolff and Mercedes were asked the same question on Saturday night.

“I’m a racer, and I think such debate is always frustrating in a sense,” Wolff said, “but sometimes the circumstances force it.”

“But, given Valtteri and Lewis are both participating in such talks, we’ll handle it and debate it first with them. Then we’ll see whether the race situation genuinely forces us to make such a decision.”

The “red bull engine upgrade” is the reason why Red Bull failed to qualify for the Mexican GP. They had a new engine in their car, but it didn’t work.

  • red bull protest
  • f1 styrian gp qualifying
  • styrian gp qualifying results
  • red bull rear wing
  • british grand prix qualifying
You May Also Like

Mane, Salah and Son Heung

There are three South Korean players who have made their way to…

Football still discriminates against Black managers, but it won’t put me off trying

It’s never easy to see our society fail, but sometimes it can…

Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, speak on LeBron ejection

While I’m not a fan of LeBron James, this video caught my…

26 of the best holiday gifts to give (or get) this year

Not sure what to give this holiday season? We have a list…