First look: Red Bull’s new sidepods ‘worth 0.2s’ uncovered in Hungary

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen pulls into parc ferme after winning the race. Spain June 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen pulls into parc ferme after winning the race. Spain June 2023

Red Bull have unveiled their new-look sidepods, the non-McLaren and non-Alpine-pods said to be worth two-tenths of a second per lap.

Although Red Bull have dominated this year’s championship, the runaway championship leaders P1 on both logs and by a significant margin, the Milton Keynes squad is by no means resting on its laurels.

Speaking ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend, the event in which Red Bull will challenge and look to break McLaren’s 1988 record of 11 wins in a row, Max Verstappen stated: “We have a couple of upgrades this weekend, hopefully they will do what we expect them to do so we can find extra performance for the upcoming races. Let’s see where we stand on a track where you run high downforce with relatively low speed corners.”

Red Bull’s new sidepods said to be worth ‘two-tenths’ per lap

Those upgrades of which he spoke of were said to include new-look sidepods that Auto Motor und Sport claims are worth the equivalent of the team’s Baku step forward, i.e “two-tenths of a second” per lap.

The revised sidepods, initially reported as being in line with McLaren or Alpine’s version of Red Bull’s downwash concept, are now being billed as their own take on the McLaren/Alpine take of the Red Bull take, and they also come with a cooling system upgrade.

The inlets have evolved with the new ‘letterbox’ look that is wider and shorter compared to what the team ran in Baku, which marked Red Bull’s most recent big upgrade.

Verstappen will line up on the Hungaroring grid chasing his seventh win in succession, which would mark Red Bull’s 12th with the team’s streak having begun last season in Abu Dhabi.

That would be a new Formula 1 record with McLaren and Red Bull jointly holding the current record of 11 wins in a row which McLaren achieved back in 1988.

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