Where Red Bull unveiled the first major upgrade package for the RB18 at Imola, it is now up to Ferrari to respond. The Scuderia comes with several new features for F1-75 (including a changed floor), while looking for new parts at Red Bull Racing makes little sense except for a few minor things. “We don’t really have any upgrades, just some weight savings. Our car is still a bit too big, so we have to make it slimmer,” said Max Verstappen, laughing, at the press conference in Barcelona.
Since weight equals time, a weight gain of around four to five kilos should not be underestimated. Despite this, eyes in Catalonia are mainly on Ferrari. When asked about the main competitor, the world champion said: “If you look at the past races, it has to be Ferrari. They have some upgrades and it will be interesting to see how much they bring. But in the end we just have to rely on ourselves, the focus and our own package. Everyone knows this track pretty well so it’s all about having a smooth weekend from today.”
Verstappen indicates that the focus should not be so much on the competitor, but that Red Bull must first get everything out of their own RB18. In relation to this car, Ferrari has given out a few pinpricks in recent weeks. Among other things, team boss Mattia Binotto has noted that Red Bull could not keep the current pace of development below the budget ceiling, although above all it puts a smile on Red Bull’s face. “It’s very simple… The situation is the same for everyone, so I don’t really see a problem in that area,” said Verstappen. Motorsport.com know, too Sky Sports He adds with a smile: “It’s certainly not a surprise for us. Maybe we work more efficiently.”
Red Bull’s top speed in Barcelona and Monaco less of a weapon?
At Red Bull there doesn’t seem to be a lot of problems in the run-up anyway, or it must be that something different is required of the cars in Barcelona and Monaco than in Miami or Jeddah, for example. The tracks ahead have medium to high downforce, so top speed might be a little less critical. This is all the more true as overtaking will be difficult in Barcelona and practically impossible in Monaco, Verstappen also knows. “You can follow each other better than last year, but I think it will still be difficult to overtake at this track in Barcelona. In any case, the goal is always not to overtake and thus to start at the front.” At the past race weekends, that wasn’t necessarily the case at Red Bull in terms of the set-up, but in Barcelona and certainly Monaco the focus can be a little more in on Saturday Move towards qualifying.