MOTORSPORT: Red Bull gives you wings, but not tyres

Ricciardo sprays team over costly Monaco mix-up, a rookie named Rossi wins the 100th Indy 500, Engel wins Nurburgring 24-Hour and Ekstrom takes World RX hat-trick

It takes a lot to wipe the smile off Daniel Ricciardo s face, but Red Bull Racing has found the way to do it. Red Bull may give you wings, but it didn t give Ricciardo tyres as quickly as he needed them to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Understandably he s furious, saying he s been screwed and feels as though he s been run over by an 18-wheel truck and that it sucks, it hurts , knowing that wins have got away from him in successive GPs through no fault of his own.

Red Bull Racing fired Ricciardo s teammate Daniil Kyvat barely two weeks after he achieved the team s first podium this season, although he had crashed into Sebastian Vettel three times in two races, and attention will now be on whether heads roll over the Monaco mix-up that robbed Ricciardo.

We as a team owe Daniel a huge apology, RBR team principal Christian Horner said.

MOTORSPORT: Red Bull Gives You Wings, But Not TyresHad he won in Barcelona, where the team made the wrong strategy call and he did not even finish on the podium as Kyvat s 18-year-old replacement Max Verstappen triumphed, and in Monaco, where his qualifying lap to claim his first F1 pole position was Senna-esque, he d be second in the world championship. He d have 86 points 20 less than Mercedes championship leader Nico Rosberg and nine more than the other Merc man, last night s victor Lewis Hamilton. From the depths of the depression last season with Renault s under-performing power unit, Red Bull s RB12 and Ricciardo could suddenly have been world title challengers.

While RBR might soon overhaul Ferrari in the constructors championship, Ricciardo is 40 points behind Rosberg instead of 20. Hamilton is now little more than another race win behind his teammate who seemed to be charging off towards this year s crown when he won the first four races. The good news for Ricciardo is that the next round is in Montreal, where he scored his maiden GP victory two years ago although he had a forgettable return there last year. While he s sick of being fast and not getting any real rewards , he goes to Canada knowing we are fast in all conditions something that couldn t have been said since RBR s four world championship seasons with Vettel before Ricciardo arrived (and upstaged the German).

Ricciardo was so angry that his crew did not have supersoft tyres ready for him on his second stop in Monaco, allowing Hamilton to snatch the lead, that he felt it was better not to debrief with the team in the heat of the moment, although he sure let off steam in interviews.

I got to the pits and everyone s running around like headless chooks. Massively, massively disappointed, he said.

I got called (into the pits). They should have been ready.

We put ourselves in a race with Lewis which we didn t need to be in.

This win I ll never get back.

I felt I was quickest in all conditions, but second place doesn t show much for it two races in a row, two races in a row!

MOTORSPORT: Red Bull Gives You Wings, But Not TyresRicciardo is such a positive personality that he will awake from a night s sleep in a much better frame of mind and get on with his job. RBR owes him big-time now. And its wonderboy, Verstappen, blotted his copybook two weeks after his stunning Spanish success, crashing three times during the Monaco weekend, including at the start of qualifying, that relegated him to the back of the grid, and in the race after a charge up through the field. The good that will come out of this for the 26-year-old Aussie is that these setbacks have increased his leverage to be treated as RBR s No 1 driver certainly its best hope to be its next world champion in the short term, if he isn t snatched by Ferrari. He s contracted to RBR beyond this season, but the Italian team has ways of overcoming that hurdle.

In the meantime, though, Ferrari needs to concentrate on its immediate performance. RBR has outpaced it the past two races and its main man, Vettel, was beaten to the third podium spot last night by Mexican Sergio Perez in a Force India car, albeit with a Mercedes power unit. That was Perez s sixth podium in 100 GPs, and he s now been on the rostrum more than the McLaren team since it dropped him after just one season in 2013.

However, McLaren celebrated the 50th anniversary of its F1 debut in Monaco with its best result of the season Fernando Alonso fifth and Jenson Button also in the points with ninth with the Honda-powered machinery. Championship leader Rosberg surrendered to teammate Hamilton last night when he could see it was not his day and his ultimate seventh place, behind the second Force India driven by Nico Hulkenberg, means he has collected only six points the past two rounds. A championship that looked a foregone conclusion little more than a fortnight ago is right on now, but RBR s management the past two races has made it a whole lot harder than it ought to have been for Australia s star to play a leading role in the title fight.

Formula 1 World Championship driver standings after six of 21 rounds 1. Nico Rosberg (Germany, Mercedes) 106 points; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain, Mercedes) 82; 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia, Red Bull-Renault) 66; 4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland, Ferrari) 61; 5. Sebastian Vettel (Germany, Ferrari) 60; 6. Max Verstappen (Netherlands, Red Bull-Renault, previously Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 38; 7. Felipe Massa (Brazil, Williams-Mercedes) 37; 8. Valtteri Bottas (Finland, Williams-Mercedes) 29; 9. Sergio Perez (Mexico, Force India-Mercedes) 23; 10. Daniil Kvyat (Russia, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, previously Red Bull-Renault) 22; 11. Romain Grosjean (France, Haas-Ferrari) 22; 12. Fernando Alonso (Spain, McLaren-Honda) 18; 13. Carlos Sainz Junior (Spain, Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 16; 14. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany, Force India-Mercedes) 14; 15. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark, Renault) 6; 16. Jenson Button (GB, McLaren-Honda) 5; 17. Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium, McLaren-Honda) 1.

F1 constructor standings 1. Mercedes 188 points; 2. Ferrari 121; 3. Red Bull-Renault 112; 4. Williams-Mercedes 66; 5. Force India-Mercedes 37; 6. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 30; 7. McLaren-Honda 24; 8. Haas-Ferrari 22; 9. Renault 6.

Red-letter day for a rookie Rossi in 100th Indy 500
The 100th Indianapolis 500 did not have any fairytale ending for Australia s Will Power and Matthew Brabham, but there was a fairytale nonetheless a rookie winner named Rossi, but not motorcycle great Valentino.

Californian Alexander Rossi, squeezed out of Formula 1 after just five GPs by the Indonesian largely-government money that bought Rio Haryanto his drive with the backmarker Manor team this year, won The Greatest Spectacle in Racing with barely enough ethanol fuel to reach the chequered flag. The average speed of the last of Rossi s 200 laps at The Brickyard this morning was about 65kmh below the race pace, but it was enough for victory less than 4.5 seconds ahead of Colombian teammate Carlos Munoz. Michael Andretti never won America s biggest open-wheeler race in 16 starts as a driver, yet this was his fourth victory as a team owner.

And it was a triumph for Andretti s engine supplier Honda after Chevrolet-powered cars won the five IndyCar series races before the 500. Power finished 10th for Team Penske at his 10th start on the 2.5-mile (4km) rectangle with four banked turns that is The Brickyard and 22-year-old Brabham 22nd and a lap down in his debut in the classic. The 24-year-old Rossi made the right decision in only his sixth IndyCar start and second on an oval track to stay out while most of the leaders opted for late stops for a splash of fuel.

Instead the man who started at odds of 66-1 ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap and had to be towed to Victory Lane to receive the plaudits of a crowd that could have been close to 400,000 and to drink the traditional milk. There was Australian success in Indianapolis over the weekend though Kalgoorlie youngster Anthony Martin won the only oval race in the USF2000 Championship at the city s Lucas Oil Raceway ahead of Cape Motorsports teammate and series leader, Canadian Parker Thompson. Thompson led most of the race but Martin overtook him on the inside of turn three in traffic on lap 62 of 75.

It was a very intense race. My car had a bit of understeer, so the low line really worked for me, Martin said.

Jordan Lloyd, Australia s first Formula 4 champion last year, finished fourth in that USF2000 round. Toyota driver Martin Truex Junior led all but eight of the 400 laps in NASCAR s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte that began soon after the Indy 500 finished, taking victory ahead of Sprint Cup leader Kevin Harvick in his Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. Across the Atlantic, Maro Engel, the Monaco-based German who raced a Mercedes V8 Supercar for Betty Klimenko in 2014, scored the closest victory (5.697 seconds) in the history of Germany s Nurburgring 24 Hours with a daring pass in his Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 on a similar car on the last lap. One of Engel s co-drivers was the great Bernd Schneider.

A disappointing weekend for the Australian veteran of the event, Mal Rose, with the Aston Martin Vantage he was sharing classified 59th in a race red-flagged at one point in horrendous weather. At the home of rallycross, Lydden Hill in Britain, Swede Mattias Ekstrom in an Audi S1 completed a hat-trick of victories this World Rallycross Championship season, with Norwegian Petter Solberg winner of the title the first two seasons runner-up in his Citroen DS3 and now trailing Ekstrom by five points.

MOTORSPORT: Red Bull Gives You Wings, But Not Tyres
And the winners on home soil were
Brendan Reeves and his co-driver sister Rhianon Gelsomino won the National Capital Rally in Canberra, the second round of the Australian Rally Championship, after skipping the first round in Western Australia. Their Subaru Impreza WRX STI had gearbox problems in the first heat, in which they finished second despite losing first and second gears just 1km into Saturday s first stage to multiple national champion Simon Evans and Ben Searcy in another Subaru.

Reeves borrowed a standard gearbox from Tasmanian competitor Craig Brookes for the second leg and took the heat win ahead of Coffs Harbour s Nathan Quinn and co-driver David Calder in a Mitsubshi Evo as well as the weekend s overall honours. Evans was in a ditch early on the final day, losing 10 minutes, but he and Searcy still ended up third overall for the event. Canberra s Harry Bates was third in Sunday s heat in his Toyota Corolla S200 with John McCarthy, while Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes were fifth and fourth in the two heats in their production-class Subaru WRX.

Meanwhile, Nathan Morcom and Grant Denyer won the opening round of the Australian GT Endurance Championship at Phillip Island from Shane Van Gisbergen and Klark Quinn with just 0.27 seconds between the two McLaren 650S GT3s at the chequered flag. There were 11 tyre failures in Sunday s 101-lap race, with visiting French-Canadian Bruno Spengler, the 2012 DTM (German touring car championship) title winner, among the victims with a right-front puncture on the BMW M6 he drove. Morcom won the first of the previous day s sprint races from 27th on the grid after being excluded from qualifying for his McLaren being underweight.

Yasser Shahin, a member of the South Australian family developing the Tailem Bend motorsport park 100km east of Adelaide, was runner-up to Morcom in a Lamborghini with Van Gisbergen third, and rookie Shahin was then the shock winner of the later sprint race. The second round of the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship was won by Adam Kaplan and Mary Hughes in a 1985 Mazda RX-7. The Lake Mountain Sprint in Victoria s Yarra Valley was run in fog, rain, sleet and snow which prompted the downgrading of several of the first day s stages.

On the second last run we had a very bad engine miss, Kaplan said. Then on the last stage we blew third gear and arrived at the finish line making awful noises.

Canberra s Max Williams and Bruce Bush took second place in an Audi TT RS and Hobart s Tim O Connor third in a Subaru WRX with South Australian Steve Glenney.

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