2022 Red Bull F1 car requires more work from race support - Dennis

Red Bull simulator driver Jake Dennis says the team's 2022 Formula 1 car requires more work from race support to get into shape compared to its title-winning RB16B.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Avalanche Andretti Formula E driver Dennis, who recently extended his deal with Red Bull and shares race support duties with fellow FE racer Sebastien Buemi, says that last year's car was frequently "in the right place at the right time" following the team's work to transform its skittish 2020 RB16 into a regular winner.

Although the 2022 RB18 has proven to be quick and has provided a baseline that has allowed the team to run at lower downforce configurations to accentuate its top speed, the car struggled to get its tyres into the correct window at the Australian Grand Prix.

This left drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez considerably behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who won the race at a canter while Verstappen retired due to a fuel system issue on lap 39.

Dennis says that more is required from him and Buemi over a race weekend to assist the race team - although neither was available at the previous round for race support duties as the Rome E-Prix clashed with F1's Albert Park race.

"I've already done two race supports for Red Bull this year," Dennis explained, "and I've got race support next weekend [Imola] with them.

"Obviously with the new car coming out with Red Bull, there's a lot of developments going through at the moment.

"Last year, it was very much that the car was in the right place at the right time, whereas now for Max and Sergio, sometimes the car isn't quite there and there's a lot of work to do on the simulator.

"Seb and I just try and do the best job we can try and make the car as fast as possible."

Jake Dennis, Andretti Motorsport

Jake Dennis, Andretti Motorsport

Photo by: Andreas Beil

Having conducted simulator duties for Red Bull since 2018, in which he tested the team's RB14 at both of that years' in-season tests at the Barcelona and Hungaroring circuits, Dennis admitted that the COVID-enforced disruption to his schedule over 2020 and 2021 left him with marginally less contact time with last year's car in the simulator.

However, the Brit felt that Honda's vastly improved powertrain was one of the biggest contributors to Red Bull's title success with Verstappen last year, ahead of the Japanese manufacturer's partial withdrawal from the championship.

"Last year was I didn't actually go on the simulator that much actually, I think I did like five or six days purely because I had to move to Munich due to the COVID situation, so I can't really take too much credit of the championship win!" said Dennis.

"But it was the same for Seb as well, Red Bull had to just try and survive with the drivers they had and I think everyone did a good job.

"They've obviously just had a faster car than the year before; the powertrain being better was probably the biggest thing. But nevertheless, Max did an incredible job to win the thing himself."

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