Red Bull is coming to the Spanish GP on the back of two consecutive wins for Max Verstappen at Imola and Miami. The team has been able to drastically cut down on the deficit it faced after the Australian GP. Having said that, even though the Austrian team will be heading to Barcelona with a spring in its step, it is aware that Ferrari still has the edge over it.
Red Bull RB18's ongoing reliability issues
One of the biggest issues that plagues Red Bull right now is the reliability concerns of the car. Verstappen retired in two out of the first three races of the season, which helped Charles Leclerc build a significant lead in the championship. Even in Miami, the Dutchman had to miss a Free Practice session on Friday.
Fortunately for the Austrian team, the problem did not resurface in the race and the 24-year-old was able to bag another win. However, if one were to ask the team whether it will be able to remedy its power unit issues, one would not receive a confident yes.
The Dutch driver has already endured two DNFs this season due to reliability issues. If he were to suffer another one, it would spell disaster for his title challenge.
The last two tracks favored Red Bull
Now, while one can claim that the team has turned a corner in the championship after a disastrous race in Australia, it would behoove one to remember that the last two tracks played to Red Bull RB18's strengths.
The car is better in fast-speed corners and has a significant pace advantage in a straight line, which the team has been using to its advantage on tracks like Imola and Miami.
However, with the upcoming races taking place in Barcelona and Monaco, the tables seem to have turned, with Ferrari now having the advantage. The Italian team is the favorite heading into the race.
Ferrari will bring its first set of upgrades to the Spanish GP
The reigning champion has brought upgrades wherever it could throughout the season. In comparison, Ferrari has been cautious about bringing upgrades too soon. The Maranello-based team has yet to introduce any significant upgrades to its car and the car has remained, more or less, the same throughout the first five races. However, this changes in Barcelona as Ferrari seems to be planning a massive upgrade package for the car.
Will that help the Italian team to pull away even further from Red Bull? Probably.
Even though its rival team is intent on bringing upgrades to its car, these upgrades will not be as significant as the ones Ferrari is planning to bring.
At the Spanish GP, could we see the championship leader pull away and create a gulf between itself and Red Bull? If it does, it will put Max Verstappen on the back foot yet again.
The Austrian team surely has the momentum on its side after winning two consecutive races this season, but it will be mindful of the fact that the championship leader has a lot more in the tank that it can retaliate with.
Red Bull might have won the last two races of the season but if we look at the bigger picture, Ferrari still has an advantage over the rest of the field.