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Stella Red Bull Takes Major Leap Forward

Stella: “Red Bull Takes Major Leap Forward”

23/02/2024

McLaren F1 faces hurdles on the second day of winter testing, with Lando Norris experiencing fuel pump issues but still showcasing resilience and potential for development.

The second day of winter testing proved challenging for McLaren F1, with Lando Norris stuck in the pits for an extended period due to a fuel pump issue with his MCL38.

Despite this, the British driver managed to complete a total of 52 laps, with team principal Andrea Stella offering a generally positive overview of the first two days.

“In terms of the report from these two days, I would say that, from a performance standpoint, the car meets our expectations. There haven’t been any major surprises, which is good news in itself, as the car features innovative elements. We wanted to see how they would perform on track, and they seem to be up to expectations.”

Red Bull’s Bold Leap Challenges Rivals

“I believe the car is a solid foundation for development – it’s a step forward from last year’s car. However, I’ve observed that many teams have advanced, which is to be expected.”

Stella also noted that one particular car appeared to have made significant progress, which isn’t necessarily good news for the competition or the spectacle…

“Every team is finding performance with each week of development. There’s one car, the Red Bull, that seems to have taken a big leap forward. Unfortunately, it’s the car that was already the fastest last year. I’d say the field was already very competitive last year, and it seems even more so this year. That’s what we’ve learned in terms of competitiveness.”

“I must say, when I saw their car, I thought they were bold in changing some aspects that were key to their success last year. I think they had such an advantage last year that it gave them the confidence to take risks because you can afford to take those risks early on to see if they work.”

Will Brown and Stella’s fears materialize?

Stella and CEO Zak Brown had previously expressed concerns about significant progress from Red Bull in 2024, given that the reigning world champions didn’t need to significantly improve their dominant RB19 last season. And it seems those fears are becoming reality…

“There are two factors,” continues Stella. “Firstly, the car’s design: there’s a significant evolutionary element to this car that certainly required time to develop. And I think that’s the time Zak and I were referring to when we said Red Bull hadn’t developed parts last year that were introduced on the 2023 car.”

“The second factor is the performance itself. They look very strong. So, it seems that what they aimed to achieve in terms of design also translated into more aerodynamic performance.”

McLaren could counter Red Bull with the development of the MCL38

Nevertheless, Stella remains undeterred, hoping McLaren F1 can develop its MCL38 to challenge Red Bull this year.

“Let’s say what we’ve seen in our own development is that we seem to be able to maintain the pace of development we started last year, which led to our great results. I’m increasingly optimistic about our ability to be in a competitive position. Obviously, if Red Bull continues to develop at the same rate, we can never catch up.”

“What’s important is to be able to continue this development over time. And in our own journey, if you think about our final path – at least after the technical reassessment, the team’s reorganization – we’re not even 12 months in.”

“So, it’s a relatively short journey from that perspective, but I’m encouraged by what I see in terms of development. I hope we can apply this to the MCL38 from the first races of the season.”

Stella: “Red Bull Takes Major Leap Forward”. Stella: “Red Bull Takes Major Leap Forward”.

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