Bulls’ homecoming likely to be gloomy

The Red Bull.
The Red Bull.

It’s unlikely to be a happy ending worthy of a Steven Spielberg film when Red Bull Racing return to their home circuit this weekend.

The Austrian Grand Prix, held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, is likely to see both Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat hit with engine penalties as both exceed the season’s engine limit in just the eighth race of the year.

Red Bull struggled at the Austrian Grand Prix last season.

Red Bull struggled at the Austrian Grand Prix last season.

It means neither are likely to start in the top 10 when it comes to Sunday’s race day, and worse still: they are likely to be behind both Toro Rosso sister cars.

Last year’s Austrian Grand Prix was far from a happy homecoming for the team either. Barely two laps into the race, Sebastian Vettel, now in the Ferrari, suffered complete power failure.

But when attempting to retire the car, it burst back into life allowing him to continue, albeit from the very back of the field.

Ultimately, he’d retire when the electrical gremlins reared their heads once more, leaving Ricciardo to pick up just two points for the team in ninth place after a thrilling dice with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.

With reliability and general power issued plaguing the team from Tilbrook all season long, it is unlikely that Red Bull Racing will give their home fans a podium finish to celebrate.

Given the fraught relationship between the team and engine manufacturer Renault throughout the year, both parties agree that it may not be until the end of the year before Red Bull will be back fighting at the sharp end of the grid.

But the team will hope their wait for more power won’t leave them struggling like they did in Canada, with just Kvyat’s ninth place to celebrate, while Ricciardo limped to a poor 13th place.

But at least with a pair of fresh engines in the pair of RB11s, and no points being given out for qualifying performances, Red Bull may give their home fans something to cheer if they’re able to race through the lower-middle order and into the points scoring positions.