Newey banishes theory over Red Bull’s latest dominant threat


Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey has denied that the RB20 is “a step into the unknown” amid a series of radical changes.

The Milton Keynes-based squad turned heads earlier this year when it unveiled a vastly changed car concept following its dominant campaign last season.

Red Bull emerged victorious at 21 out of the 22 races staged in 2023 and its advantage over the field allowed it to switch focus to its 2024 car earlier than the rest of the competition.

This year’s challenger, which features a more aggressive design approach, had an impressive debut in Bahrain as Max Verstappen won by over 22 seconds ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez who crossed the line in second place.

Despite the impressive changes to the car, Newey denied the car was a risk for Red Bull.

Asked if the RB20 was a “step into the unknown“, speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Newey replied: “No, not at all.

“The underlying architecture of the car is the third-generation evolution of what started as RB18.

“Where we carry everything – apart from the radiators, they’ve changed – but apart from that, the layout of the front suspension, the rear suspension, the gearbox, casing, etcetera, it’s a third evolution of RB18.”

A more balanced car

Newey added that while the visible changes on the surface of the car have produced the most attention, they are not necessarily behind the gain in lap time.

“The bits that are visible – and they’ve obviously caused quite a lot of attention – we’re pursuing aerodynamic gains there.

“But the visual change is much larger than the performance change you get from that, and there are other much more subtle bits people haven’t noticed that are probably responsible for a bigger gain.”

Red Bull’s only defeat last year was at the Singapore Grand Prix, a weekend throughout which it struggled to extract performance from the car.

To eradicate a repeat, Newey insisted the squad has focused on ensuring the car is competitive at all circuit configurations.

“That’s what we’ve tried to achieve, is a car that is reasonably well suited to all circuits,” he said.

“Last year the circuits we had less of an advantage on were the maximum downforce street tracks.

“Singapore, we famously made a bit of a mess of, underperformed to what we could have achieved – I think we could have certainly achieved podiums there had we got our act together a bit better.

“But it certainly is true to say that those circuits are the ones that we probably have less advantage on, but as long as we’re not disastrous on them, then maybe that’s good enough.”



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