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

Red Bull wary of F1 rivals' "very interesting" upgrades

Red Bull thinks its Formula 1 rivals have cottoned on to the secrets of success of the current generation of ground effect cars, based on some “interesting” development paths.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

After back-to-back championship doubles for Red Bull and Max Verstappen, a number of its rivals have made radical revamps of their cars for 2024 in a bid to close the gap.

And while just making a Red Bull clone is no guarantee of success, as teams need to understand what makes the concept work, the indications are there that this is happening.

PLUS: Why it's a Red Bull vs Ferrari battle in F1 2024 testing's long runs

Red Bull technical director Pierre Wache thinks that some development routes that teams have taken – such as the Mercedes front wing – offer the best indication that the opposition now understands what made his squad’s previous cars so good.

“I don't know if they understood what we did, but I think they understood from what I saw in the development of their cars,” Wache told Autosport.

“Even if it's not exactly the same path, because I'm sure we are not right everywhere, they have found their own path in the sense that you develop a tool, or certain paths of development, based on the issues you have and based on your understanding.

“So maybe they have found some other stuff that could be very interesting. To make it be able to work with three and half flaps on the element on the front wing [like Mercedes] is interesting by having more outwash.

 

“They have found a different path. I'm not sure they know exactly what we did, because if you just copy without understanding, for me it's useless, but all the competitive people in this business are following a path for their benefit."

The form shown by Red Bull’s new RB20 in Bahrain testing last week has left many convinced that the squad will be the team to beat for the season opener – and could have an even bigger advantage than last year.

But Wache is not so confident about things and believes that Ferrari’s long run form in particular has left the Italian squad a potential challenger.

Read Also:

Asked about the view that Red Bull’s advantage had been maintained over the winter, Wache said: “No, I don't share that. I hope the gap will be bigger, but I don't know.

“I hope first we will deliver a car that will be able to perform well, and we'll see where everybody is.

“But to be honest when I see Ferrari [long run pace], they were very quick. So I don't know to be honest.

“The main worry we have is this track is very specific. How will we translate to other types of tracks with different issues? Here it's very rear limited. The surface is very specific. I think we will have a different challenge, and I'm not sure it will be easy.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F1 circuit contracts: How long each race will remain on the Formula 1 calendar
Next article Horner on way to Bahrain GP as decision looms on his F1 future

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

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