Formula 1 | Red Bull did not seek to favor Verstappen by developing its F1

Red Bull did not seek to (...)

The two Red Bull drivers are among the many drivers penalized this weekend at Monza, due to engine parts changes.

The question may nevertheless arise: why take penalties for both drivers, at the same Grand Prix?

Pierre Waché, the French technical director of Red Bull, answered this question: the opportunity was too tempting at Monza, a circuit where you can overtake (in Singapore, the next Grand Prix, it’s much more complex…)

« Sergio’s penalty was on schedule because we have to take a penalty before the end of the season. This time we didn’t want to take penalties with both cars at Spa; in Zandvoort it was difficult, so we planned to do it in Monza. And based on our pace and predictions, we thought maybe it would be good to have a back-up option for Max, to take another penalty for Max at Monza, because it’s only for five places. Here it is possible to double. It’s a bit tougher than Spa, but that’s the reasoning behind it. »

“Confidence is lower of course, if you don’t start in first position. But yeah, we have some confidence to win, some other teams are quite fast, and it will be a challenge for sure. »

Waché can be confident: the Red Bull seems to be a good F1 on all circuits. In Zandvoort, on a narrow circuit, in Spa, on a fast circuit…

“The car is efficient on every circuit. On circuits requiring a lot of aerodynamic downforce, our efficiency is a little less of an advantage, compared to the others. »

Why did Verstappen widen the gap on Pérez thanks to Red Bull upgrades?

How to explain however that for a few races, Sergio Pérez has been less comfortable in the Red Bull than Max Verstappen? Checo had pointed out the developments that would not go in the right direction for him: can the technical director of Milton Keynes confirm?

“There are several factors but the main factor is clearly the balance and confidence in the car, compared to the start of the year when the car was a bit more balanced for Checo and a bit less for Max. And with the development potential we’ve put on the car over the season…we’ve moved away from that initial situation, maybe that’s part of the problem. Finding the right settings for him, Checo, becomes quite difficult, to be as confident as he could be to beat, or fight Max. »

In any case, Red Bull never wanted to directly favor Max Verstappen with his driving style, assures the technical director.

“What the development of the car produces [sur la performance relative des pilotes], it is more accidental, fortuitous. You know, when we are developing the car, you are looking to develop first and foremost to get the best possible performance from F1, yes, that suits Max more, but that was not the point of the development. It was more the development of the car that mattered. »

Still, the Red Bull has made great progress: is this due to aerodynamic development? A weight reduction that allows a better overall balance? Incidentally, Waché reconfirms that the developments have gone more in the direction of Max Verstappen than Sergio Pérez.

“It’s a global aspect, as you say. The weight is one aspect, for sure, but it is part of the car’s settings. At the beginning of the season, we didn’t have the possibility to play with the weight, then it is part of the adjustments. I think it’s a whole package, after that it’s a little more difficult to adjust the car. »

“It worked in favor of Max, he is able to drive any car. Now we have to find a way to give Sergio F1 to perform and compete. »

Red Bull had learned a lot in previous years with a difficult car to drive: does that mean that this year, with a more dominating car, the team learns less?

“It is clear that we have learned a lot. Of course, when you have a big problem, you learn more, because you have to solve it. »

“But it’s not like we haven’t had problems this year, you know. We fight with a fairly high level of competition. Ferrari is very fast, even faster than us in the first part of the season and even now too. They had some reliability issues, but they are fast and they still are. So we are also learning a lot this year. »

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