Red Bull RacingDaniel RicciardoDaniil Kvyat
2015 Constructors' Standings - 4th

So long as it can do its talking on the track not get bogged down in its own self-importance, Red Bull, more than any other team, has the ability to spring a surprises in the right places. It knows its strengths and it has the drivers to get the most from them when it counts

With the intimidating trifecta of Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz going to lengths to ensure Red Bull last year courted more off-track headlines than it did on it - despite Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat's noble efforts -, the team comes into 2016 more or less where it started 2014 and 2015.

Indeed, for one of the boldest teams armed with one of the most exciting drivers to watch and interact with, the Horner/Marko/Mateschitz complaints choir has morphed Red Bull into one of overarching pessimism.

Racing hasn't started yet but Red Bull has more than once made it clear already its use of the 'Renault' (just don't call it Renault) engine is begrudging at best, whilst rather brazenly demanding Renault siphon resources away from its own works team 'if it wants good results'.

Granted, for Red Bull - being a brand rather than a manufacturer - fourth place wins few of the column inches it ultimately craves, but in a sport mired in negativity, it's a shame that it is still forcing its issues before F1 2016 has even turned a wheel.

Indeed, the wording has been fairly cynical thus far, Horner even suggesting Red Bull will be chasing Toro Rosso in the early rounds. An attempt at lulling rivals into a false sense of security? Apparently not, but even Toro Rosso have laughed off the suggestion, while testing suggests Red Bull could even be challenging Williams for third in a car that seems pretty quick and, crucially, reliable.

The drivers, more importantly, have retained a more positive attitude. Ricciardo seems galvanised by enduring a trying year so soon after his breakout campaign, while Kvyat simply grew in confidence as the season wore on to the point he could genuinely dethrone his more experienced counterpart as team leader.

In fact, the inter-team Red Bull battle could prove one of the more interesting factors of the 2016 season, with Kvyat establishing himself quicker than perhaps Red Bull - or Ricciardo expected - and with seemingly more to come. Furthermore, with Max Verstappen waiting in the wings and expected to be promoted soon to deflect a swoop from a rival manufacturer, the drivers are under pressure and Red Bull faces a potential dilemma... provided it doesn't threaten to pull out again. And again. And again.

 

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