Red Bull, the trailblazing Formula 1 team based in Milton Keynes, made history at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen’s victory propelled the team into the record books as the first to secure 12 consecutive wins. This surpassed McLaren’s previous impressive streak of 11 unbroken victories in 1988, led by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, which ended at the Italian Grand Prix that same year.
In Hungary, Red Bull’s performance was boosted by a significant upgrade to the sidepods and floor of their car, marking the most considerable modification of the season.
However, according to Red Bull’s team leader, Christian Horner, these enhancements could be the final performance improvements for the year. The team must strategically distribute its wind tunnel development running as they set their sights on the RB20.
Reflecting on the upgrades, Horner commented, “They delivered as promised. So, in that sense, it’s a job well done. But given our current limitations, we need to shift our concentration to next year. We are significantly behind in wind tunnel time compared to our competitors, so we must choose our usage wisely.”
Due to F1’s Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions, teams leading the championship at various points of the season have less access to wind tunnel and CFD runs. As the mid-season cut-off leader, Red Bull is allocated only 70% of the baseline, compared to 75% for Mercedes, 80% for Aston Martin, and 85% for Ferrari.
Interestingly, McLaren’s slow start to the season has placed it sixth in the constructors’ championship at the cut-off, granting them 95% of the permitted usage.
Moreover, Red Bull is contending with an additional 10% cut in running due to a penalty from last year’s cost cap violation.
Horner highlighted the vast disparities between his team’s available resources and those of their rivals when these factors are combined.
He stated, “We have to deal with this [cost cap] penalty until October of this year, which considerably limits our weekly runs compared to the second and third-placed teams.”
“Compared to the fourth or fifth-placed teams, we’re significantly behind. The difference in wind tunnel runs between McLaren and us is enormous. Thus, we have to be highly selective in our running. That’s why our engineering team in Milton Keynes is doing an extraordinary job in effectively and efficiently developing the car.”
With Red Bull’s sights now set on 2024, any future enhancements will likely be specific to individual circuits – potentially including low-drag components for races like Spa and Monza.
“We will have a few circuit-specific updates, but nothing that hasn’t already been committed to R&D,” Horner concluded.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Red Bull 2024 F1 Car Development
Why is Red Bull shifting its focus to the 2024 F1 car?
Red Bull is shifting its focus to the 2024 F1 car due to significant restrictions on wind tunnel testing time. The team is considerably behind in wind tunnel time compared to their competitors, which limits their ability to develop and test improvements on the current car.
What historical achievement did Red Bull reach at the Hungarian Grand Prix?
At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull, with driver Max Verstappen, became the first team in F1 history to win 12 consecutive races. This achievement surpassed the record previously held by McLaren with 11 straight wins in 1988.
How do F1’s Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions affect Red Bull?
F1’s Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions limit the availability of wind tunnel and CFD runs for teams leading the championship at various points throughout the season. As the mid-season leader, Red Bull receives only 70% of the baseline allocation, whereas other teams receive a higher percentage.
How is Red Bull dealing with last year’s cost cap breach penalty?
Due to a penalty for a cost cap breach from the previous year, Red Bull faces an additional 10% reduction in running. This penalty is in effect until October of the current year, further limiting the team’s ability to test and develop their car.
What does the future hold for Red Bull’s car enhancements?
Red Bull’s team leader, Christian Horner, indicated that future enhancements to the car will likely be circuit-specific. They might include low-drag components for races like Spa and Monza, but the focus remains largely on developing the 2024 F1 car.