(GMM) Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has tried to play down reports that the Red Bull RB20 will destroy the competition in 2024.
Max Verstappen’s utter dominance this year has been disheartening for his rivals, especially as Red Bull has voluntarily limited development of the 2023 machine throughout the season.
And Red Bull was additionally limited by the extra wind tunnel restrictions as a result of last year’s budget cap breach penalty.
La Gazzetta dello Sport now claims that Red Bull is preparing “radical” improvements for its 2024 car, even though it will maintain a “strong resemblance” to the current single seater. Horner tries to play this down.
“But it will follow an aerodynamic concept that will differ from the current one,” claims correspondent Paolo Filisetti. “It seems that the vertical load will be generated and distributed in a radically different way than now.
“The floor will function differently, adopting a very different volumetric conformation of the Venturi channels,” said the Italian journalist.
“Adrian Newey, Pierre Wache and the aerodynamicists found several areas of the RB19 that were only marginally evolved as it was unnecessary thanks to the significant gap to the rivals.
“It was decided to integrate all of those changes into the new project to solve the weak points of the RB19. In other words, while the opponents struggle to chase Verstappen’s current car, Red Bull seems to be ready to introduce countermeasures of the highest level. To dominate yet again,” Filisetti added.
Boss Horner, however, says it’s obvious that Red Bull’s key rivals are now clearly chipping away at the leading team.
“Taking into account the stability of the regulations, I think next year that trend will continue, and we will have a much more intense championship,” he is quoted as having told Bloomberg this week.
“The same can be said for 2025 before the rules reboot in 2026,” Horner added. “So we are always trying to improve, because our competitors will copy part of the philosophy of our car, that’s for sure.
“We see that this is already starting to happen. It will be difficult to make the RB20 significantly better than the RB19,” Horner insists.
“It would be wrong of us to just leave it alone because our opposition is getting a bit closer,” Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan said.
“But the rules are quite tight compared to what we’ve had in previous years and with previous generations of car, where we could do a little bit more and move things around.
“It perhaps wouldn’t surprise you if I said it [the 2024 car] will be an evolution of the current car, as it will be a bit foolish to throw this concept away.
“But equally, we’ve got to make some progress. We’ve got to find some lap time. The opposition is on us and if they do a step, then we’d better have a bigger step.
“But it [the RB20] carries over a lot of the lessons and benefits of the current car, and then from Bahrain next year, we’ll see whether we’ve done a good enough job.”