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Red Bull Racing

Rivals fear Red Bull revival as Catalunya looms

Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc both expect Red Bull to hold the advantage at the Spanish Grand Prix, after the team struggled over recent rounds.

Max Norris
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Both Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc have placed the target squarely on Red Bull's back ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren and Ferrari have taken considerable steps forward in recent rounds, with Lando Norris winning in Miami and finishing runner-up to Max Verstappen in two of the last three races. Leclerc, meanwhile, won the Monaco Grand Prix, where Piastri finished second.

The improvements by both teams are as a result of updated packages. The Woking-based team brought a raft of upgrades to Miami and the Scuderia suit in Imola. 

This coincided with a slump in form for Red Bull. The team struggled around the streets of Monte Carlo, and were also compromised by the kerb-riding nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada.

However, with the Spanish Grand Prix located at the more conventional, more aerodynamic-dependant Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Milton Keynes outfit is expected to be back to its best - even if the gap to the cars behind has shrunk.

"I think we can still be confident, definitely," Piastri told media including RacingNews365 when assessing McLaren's chances, whilst casting on a light on what he anticipated will be a rejuvenated Red Bull. 

"I wouldn't say we're weak in high speed, it's just that others probably caught up a little bit. So we'll see. I'm pretty comfortable we'll be somewhere towards the front. As well, I think Red Bull will probably be a bit stronger than they have been. But I think we'll be in the fight."

Red Bull strength to be 'more visable'

Despite closing the gap to Red Bull, Ferrari endured a torrid weekend in Canada. Both Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz failed to reach the final stage of qualifying, having to line up P11 and P12 on the grid, respectively.

Things went from bad to worse in the race itself. A power unit issue hindered the Monegasques progress, before a poor tyre strategy call saw him on dry Pirellis on a damp track. This resulted in the 26-year-old being lapped by the leading five cars before finally succumbing to the engine problems.

Sainz had worked his way into the outer reaches of the points before a mistake at Turn 6 caused him to spin into the path of Alexander Albon's Williams, sending them both into retirement.

The Italian team will be hoping for - and expecting - a stronger weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, with Leclerc contending that Red Bull will hold the advantage on the tight pack of Ferrari, McLaren, and potentially Mercedes, behind.

"I feel like the strength of Red Bull will be more visible on a track like Barcelona, but let's wait and see," the six-time grand prix winner replied to media including RacingNews365 when asked if he expected Red Bull to be back at full strength in Spain. "And behind, I think we'll all be pretty close."

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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