SEASON REVIEW: 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

by Craig Edwards
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

ASTON MARTIN RED BULL RACING – POINTS: 419 | POSITION: THIRD

It was a second successive third place finish in the constructors championship for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as their two drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen split the four wins between them.

The Austrian outfit proved once again that they are arguably the best when it comes to the chassis and aerodynamics as demonstrated with victories at less power dependent tracks including at the Monaco Grand Prix.

This season also saw Red Bull show they are willing to take risks and were rewarded twice with victories in China and Austria thanks to quick strategy calls.

The season started poorly with a fourth and sixth in Melbourne and a double DNF two weeks later at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ricciardo produced an overtaking masterclass at the Shanghai International Circuit to move up from sixth to first in only a few laps to snatch his sixth victory of his career. While China was brilliant for one side of the Red Bull garage, Verstappen created headlines of a negative nature after a failed overtake attempt on Lewis Hamilton cost him the position to his team-mate before crashing with Sebastian Vettel.

This was one of a number of high profile mistakes in the opening few races for the Dutchman. He spun in Australia while chasing Kevin Magnussen, retired due to damage sustained when he hit Hamilton in Bahrain and crashed with Ricciardo in Azerbaijan, the teams lowest moment of the season as the two drivers brought back flashbacks to Istanbul in 2010.

Monaco was another missed opportunity for Verstappen as he crashed in Free Practice 3 and was forced to start from the back of the grid. Ricciardo gained redemption for two years ago but had to do it the hard way as his engine lost power during the race.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - Daniel Ricciardo

Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Dan Mullan/Getty Images

It would be the Aussie’s second win of the season and the last time he would be on the podium as a Red Bull driver and became the first driver since Pastor Maldonado in 2012 to only be on the podium as a race winner that season.

Verstappen improved after Monaco, third in Canada, second in France before winning his first race of the season at the Red Bull Ring as he took advantage of a poor Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport strategy call to jump Hamilton.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - Max Verstappen

Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The middle part of the season saw the odd podium for Vertsappen but more often than not, a DNF for Ricciardo before the Australian shocked his team, and the whole Formula 1 paddock when he announced he would be leaving the team to join Renault Sport Formula One Team.

His last great moment with the team would be his pole position at the Mexican Grand Prix but he would retire during the race as Verstappen claimed the win as the Dutchman ended the season with five successive podiums to beat Valtteri Bottas to fourth in the drivers championship and finish only two points behind Kimi Räikkönen in third.

Ricciardo departs the team after finishing a distant sixth place and with eight retirements from 21 races this season. This year also saw the departure of Renault as an engine supplier with Honda coming in to power the teams 2019 challenger as they aim to continue to close the gap to Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari.

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