Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Spanish GP

RB: Barcelona F1 car upgrades may be "fooling" us

The RB Formula 1 team is in a race against time to figure out why its upgrades led it up the wrong set-up path in Spain

Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

RB CEO Peter Bayer says his Formula 1 team has evidence its Barcelona upgrades are working, but may be "fooling" it regarding the sweet spot of its car set-up.

RB brought a raft of upgrades to the VCARB01 at last weekend Spanish Grand Prix, including an updated floor, a new rear wing and a re-designed engine cover.

However Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo failed to make it through to Q1, qualifying 17th and 18th respectively.

They didn't fare much better in the race, with Ricciardo finishing a distant 15th while Tsunoda dropped to 19th after reporting car problems.

Ricciardo said it was particularly puzzling that he actually felt comfortable in the car, but its performance just wasn't there compared to previous weekends.

According to the team's CEO Bayer, there is evidence that its upgrades are working, but may have led the team into a wrong set-up direction.

"The data are clear, they show that the upgrade works," Bayer told ORF.

"However, the race engineers explained it to me like this: 'It's possible that these upgrades are fooling you'.

Peter Bayer, CEO of Visa Cash App RB

Peter Bayer, CEO of Visa Cash App RB

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

"So, you think you've found a sweet spot for the car, but it's not actually where the car tells you it is.

"We let ourselves get a little carried away. We will now analyse that.

"These cars work like a pyramid, you have to find the peak at the top. These [simulation] models can make you believe that you're at the top, but you're not.

"It's like thinking you're standing on top of the Glockner [Austria's highest mountain], but in reality you're standing next to it. That's how it felt this weekend."

Bayer said RB hadn't yet ruled out whether or not it would do a back-to-back test in FP1 at the Red Bull Ring, but the fact that Austria is a sprint weekend means the pressure is on to quickly find the right set-up direction.

"[Going back on specification] is an option, yes," Bayer said. "Maybe we'll do that for one of the cars.

"We have to find out very quickly what happened, because Austria will be a sprint weekend.

"That means we actually have to know in the first practice session what we want to do.

"The pressure is correspondingly high now. Everyone is already working flat out for next weekend."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Why an era-ending McLaren's pioneering traits couldn't halt Mansell's juggernaut
Next article Sainz expects more competitive Ferrari F1 car for Austrian GP

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe