Verstappen surprised at Red Bull’s radical 2024 car

Fri, 16 February 2024, 08:00

Feb.16 (GMM) Just when the F1 world expected a gentle evolution of the ultra-dominant 2023 car, Red Bull unveiled a new single seater on Thursday that left jaws agape.

“We had such a dominant car last year that you wouldn’t imagine us changing the concept so much,” Sergio Perez said at Milton-Keynes. “I think it shows the hunger in the team and the bravery to do that.”

Teammate Max Verstappen called the step between the RB19 and RB20 as “controlled aggression”.

Three radical features about the 2024 car’s external appearance caught the eye in particular – innovative vertical cooling intakes, and the conspicuous bodywork shape behind the cockpit that ironically resembles Mercedes’ scrapped 2022 and 2023 concept.

“We were looking for the air intakes for a long time,” admitted Frederic Ferret, the respected correspondent for L’Equipe.

The third innovation is the way the tip of the nose now extends all the way to the front of the main blade of the front wing – while most other teams for this year have emulated the old shorter Red Bull solution.

“The new Red Bull is a little reminiscent of the old Mercedes,” quipped Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner.

Team boss Christian Horner admits it’s a “bold design” that shows Red Bull is still “pushing the limits”.

“You certainly can’t describe it as a conservative evolution,” he said. “We’ve moved away somewhat from what others have copied from us in their new cars.

“There’s a lot of creativity in it.”

Horner denies that Red Bull is cheekily moving to distract the team’s rivals, who have all increasingly moved towards the Red Bull-like concept of 2022 and 2023.

“There’s no special tactic behind it,” he smiled. “We wouldn’t have built it like this if we didn’t think it was better.”

Triple world champion Verstappen admits he was surprised when he first saw the 2024 Red Bull design.

“I saw the drawings in Abu Dhabi at the last race and thought ‘wow, there are big changes there’. They weren’t conservative, let’s put it that way,” he smiled.

“The ambitious approach is what I like about our team. Risk? I call it controlled aggression. Time will tell whether it’s right.”

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