Radical 2024 Red Bull car concept ‘makes sense’ – Wolff

Wed, 28 February 2024, 09:00

Feb.28 (GMM) Toto Wolff has played down the fact that, just as Mercedes totally scrapped the ‘no sidepods’-style car concept after 2022-2023, Red Bull rolled out a similar car for 2024.

“There are a few things they took over from our car,” the Mercedes team boss admitted to Austrian broadcaster ORF.

“Not only the sidepods, but of course we also had our engine cover – we called it ‘The Great Wall’ at the time. It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but the solution makes sense,” Wolff said.

However, Wolff hits back at the notion that while Mercedes couldn’t make the concept work, Red Bull appears to have nailed it straight out of the box.

“The real performance comes from the floor,” he insists. “These are ground effect cars, and they (Red Bull) have been very strong in that area in recent years, and there will probably have been further development in that area.

“I just didn’t expect such a radical change with the bodywork. It was a brave step because if they had been conservative, they would have further developed a really good car.

“The data will always guide your development, and the data will likely have shown that these new developments come with significantly more downforce. Otherwise Red Bull wouldn’t have done it,” Wolff added.

Former F1 driver Ivan Capelli thinks Adrian Newey, the renowned technical guru, has pulled off another genius move with his 2024 concept.

“Newey has turned the Red Bull upside down, surprising everyone,” he told Sky Italia. He has suddenly made all the other cars age.”

And with Max Verstappen at the wheel, Red Bull is more than likely to dominate Formula 1 yet again starting this weekend in Bahrain.

“He is the example for every driver,” Capelli said. “Last year he only made one mistake and that was a spin in practice in the United States. That shows how high he has set the bar, a bit like Senna and Schumacher did in their day.

“It’s almost impossible for him to lose that form now.”

As for Mercedes’ 2024 car, which is now more in line with the old Red Bull concept, it appears to be slightly off the pace of the new Ferrari.

“Ferrari has really taken a step,” said former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde on the DRS De Race Show podcast. “They had little tyre degradation in the test, after having so much trouble with that last year.

“Max will win the race, but behind him I expect a nice battle between Ferrari and (Sergio) Perez.”

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