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RB20 to Undergo Major Upgrades in Japan and Imola Races

RB20 to Undergo Major Upgrades in Japan and Imola Races

23/02/2024

Red Bull has kicked off its winter testing on a high note, showcasing an RB20 that appears both fast and reliable. Pierre Waché, the team’s technical director, shares that they are still in the process of understanding the car and undertaking fundamental work.

“There’s a lot of work to prepare for the season, to grasp the car’s concept which differs from last year’s, to address potential issues, to stress-test the car to ensure everything works—it’s a considerable amount of work,” he reminds. “We don’t exactly know how our performance stacks up against others, but so far, everything is going smoothly.”

The RB20 has notably diverged from its predecessor, the RB19, and the Frenchman acknowledges that it’s not exactly a revolution, with a similar philosophy. However, Red Bull needed to ensure a better potential for evolution for 2024 and 2025.

“It’s the same car philosophy but with different solutions, taking more risks in terms of cooling which means more internal work, but it’s a sound investment for the future and the next two years.”

“In this industry, competition is all relative; others are very strong and even if they follow the same concept we used last year, eventually they’ll find better solutions. So, we have to develop the car from a new basis with more potential, that’s why we’re taking risks.”

A “remarkable correlation” on the RB20

Waché confirms that the risks taken seem to already prove their worth: “It’s crucial to see that the risk we took worked out in terms of the car’s reliability, which was the biggest box we needed to tick.”

“The balance isn’t bad, but we still have a lot to fine-tune. We had doubts about the risks we took and how the car would behave, but we’re reassured and can start to exploit its potential.”

Of course, not everything is perfect for Red Bull, even if the first two days seemed very solid. The engineer specifically praises a perfect correlation, but explains that the risks taken with cooling have raised some alarms.

“We’ve had a few that we’re trying to better understand. But what’s remarkable is the correlation in terms of simulation tools and wind tunnel testing in this aspect. What the specialists in this area have done is remarkable. We have the option to increase vents and intakes, but we can develop this approach further.”

Red Bull “looks into” Mercedes F1’s wing

Rumors suggested a significant evolution of the RB20 by the fourth race in Japan, which Waché confirms, adding that it will also evolve in Imola, for the seventh race of the season: “A bit different, but the goal isn’t just to be different but to find performance. If we could conceal the evolutions, that would be even better!”

“The goal is to find performance, and we’ll be aggressive in development. We’ll have an evolution in Japan, and another as we return to Europe to bring even more performance to the car or address any issues we encounter.”

When asked about Mercedes’ front wing, which has caught observers’ eyes and was approved by the FIA, he confirms that Red Bull is exploring the potential gains with this solution.

“It’s interesting, and indeed, we’re looking at others. If we stay in our bubble, we don’t find performance; we look at others’ solutions and redevelop them, that’s how it works in this business. Others are very smart, and we need to look at everything, whether the cars are fast or not.”

RB20 to Undergo Major Upgrades in Japan and Imola Races. RB20 to Undergo Major Upgrades in Japan and Imola Races

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