Red Bull have plenty to beef about

Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:24am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - However good the party turns out to be, Red Bull are feeling far from bullish as Formula One descends on their home Austrian circuit in search of excitement this weekend.

Last season, when Austria's scenic Spielberg circuit returned to the calendar after an 11-year absence, the hosts revved up the fans by winning in Canada with Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

This time, with both their drivers sure to collect penalties in the next few races for exceeding the engine allocation, there will be a lot more criticism than optimism wafting around in the mountain air.

Neither Ricciardo, whose permanent smile has been tested to the full, nor Russian team mate Daniil Kvyat have come close to winning and former champions Red Bull, now fourth overall, have not been shy in blaming engine partners Renault.

Mercedes have won six of seven races and qualified on pole in all of them, with double world champion Lewis Hamilton and title rival team mate Nico Rosberg -- last year's race winner -- again clear favorites.

"Unfortunately, the Red Bull Ring is a real power track so we won't be with the front-runners," Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko told the official website.

"But even if our drivers will hardly see the podium this year, the fans will get entertainment at its best," added the Austrian.

The sport could do with that, after the most recent race in Montreal proved a rare letdown and last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours drew a record crowd of 263,500 spectators to watch an endurance series that is fast gaining in popularity.   Continued...

Lewis Hamilton in Montreal June 7, 2015.   REUTERS/Christinne Muschi