Red Bull has a plan

Horner sees Verstappen as an “outsider” for the title and relies on the evolution of the RB16 to stand up to Mercedes. Ask for “multi-stop” races.


At Red Bull they are known for their aggressive aerodynamic approaches in winter, the ideas of the Newey team tend to be radical and difficult to adjust in the first races of the season. But they are the team that best evolves during the season and that is the hope so that the current season does not become a Mercedes ride. Verstappen is now closer to Hamilton in pace than Ferrari was, for example, last year.

Despite a certain air of complacency around the garage (Verstappen laughs when asked if he can beat Mercedes), Christian Horner, head of the energy team, still considers himself an “outsider” in this championship: “We are from Austria And that hasn't changed, but we keep our options. It is a very rare season and things can change. It is Max's sixth consecutive podium and remains second in the World Championship. We need to find more benefits to be able to fight them. It's frustrating that it's always the same two cars competing and the same one winning every weekend, but we're working to change that at some point. And, in general, in Belgium we were closer to the Mercedes. ”

They continue to fine-tune their RB16, a complex car that plays on the concept of 'rake' (the height of the rear of the car relative to the ground is greater than at the front), a very sensitive parameter that can make a large car if a millimeter mismatch occurs. "You have to develop the aerodynamic concept, the mechanics, the engine, the degradation of the tires, everything. That is why we are constantly chasing," says the British leader.

The problem, with blocks of three consecutive races, is the times to incorporate improvements from the factory. From Mugello there will be more margin, because the great prizes will be interspersed with weeks of rest on the circuit. Work will not stop on the current car, even if the 2022 project is approaching. “It is an eight-month year, so we are working hard even if it is not seen. As we finish this year we will start next year, and it is very important to cut that disadvantage in Milton Keynes and in Japan ”. The Abu Dhabi GP car will look a lot like the one that reaches the pre-season test in 2021.

To resolve the disadvantage with Hamilton, Horner relies on the abolition of the 'party mode', which may allow them to dispute some pole from now on. And he leaves a covert request: softer tires from now on that force more pit stops on Sunday: “One-stop races are always boring, we need two or three because they mix the peloton and mix the strategies. The strategy variable is needed to generate differences between the cars ”. Because he knows that this trick would play in favor of Verstappen's Red Bull. And although the 2020 script seems to have already been written, there are ten races to go.

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