After our most successful weekend at the Australian Grand Prix to date, we return to the Red Bull Racing Australia office with fire in our bellies, ready to take on Tassie.
Not only did Shane van Gisbergen bring home the overall win for the team, but Triple Eight Race Engineering achieved not one, but two 1-2-3 lockouts.
With our dreams becoming reality (well, we still have a Bathurst podium clean sweep set in our sights) we sat down with the big boss and asked RD for his parting thoughts from the AGP.
Two 1-2-3 lockouts over the weekend for Triple Eight, a vision you’ve had for quite some time – how did it feel to see the three cars cross the line?
It was very satisfying to see all three cars in podium positions, especially as Albert Park hasn’t been a great hunting ground for us for several years. It’s a fantastic reward for ALL the team for all the hard work during the off season.
SvG was in fine form over the race weekend, really settling into car 97. Can we expect this kind of performance from him throughout the year?
For sure – I believe so. He will push Jamie and Craig hard and they will push SvG. We have three very equal drivers in the same equipment.
After a drought over the last four years for T8 at the AGP, this weekend’s results were a breath of fresh air. What factors do you think contributed to success this year compared to the last few years?
We were highly motivated after those poor years there and also we could use much of the development work that we did in 2015 to good effect there.
Mark Dutton mentioned still ironing out the bumps in crew and setup after Clipsal, do you feel as though this was achieved at the AGP? Or is there still room for improvement?
We were much better at the AGP but there are still a few issues to deal with… Hopefully, once we can catch our breath, given this early season schedule, we’ll feel that we’re on top of everything very soon.
Despite not racing for points, do you believe the AGP is an important round to have?
Yes – I love it. We are unique in that we get our own pit lane right next to the F1 lane. Nowhere else in the world does that happen. We get great garages with excellent fan viewing and are able to stay in SE Melbourne with loads of great restaurants, etc. around us. And we get to take in the pinnacle of world motorsport on their season debut. Pretty cool in my book.
With four 12 lap races, there isn’t room for error. Do you think the race format is suitable for V8 Supercars?
It is what it is, and has to fit in around the F1 schedule. We’re the support act. Of course, we could go longer if it was only up to us. But it isn’t. So four, short, sharp, races with great action (as we saw last weekend, on the soft tyre) is a pretty good format for us at the Grand Prix.
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