Potential rebel to Red Bull concept emerges as makes ‘no sense’ to copy

Jamie Woodhouse
The Japanese Grand Prix racing action gets underway at Suzuka. F1 schedule

Suzuka is a firm favourite of the drivers on the F1 schedule.

While the pursuing pack are clambering to follow the Red Bull design, Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur said it would make “no sense” to copy Formula 1’s dominant force.

Ferrari brought the fight to Red Bull in the opening rounds of Formula 1’s new era with ground effect aerodynamics in 2022, though Red Bull soon gained the upper hand to become the team to beat.

And since then that has proven a very difficult feat to accomplish, with Red Bull having won 17 of the most recent 18 grands prix, Ferrari putting the only taint on that run courtesy of Carlos Sainz’s 2023 Singapore GP victory.

Ferrari not transitioning to the Red Bull concept

Ferrari customer team Haas are the latest team to abandon their philosophy in favour of the “Red Bull concept”, having seen the likes of Aston Martin and especially McLaren benefit greatly from exploring this alternative route.

But, while Ferrari and Mercedes, who both came out in this ground effect era with their own very unique takes, have taken steps in F1 2023 to change course, Vasseur sees no benefit for either team in simply doing a copy and paste job of the Red Bull design.

Asked by Sky F1 pundit Nico Rosberg whether Ferrari will copy Red Bull’s concept for F1 2024, as Red Bull boss Christian Horner expects many teams to do, Vasseur replied: “No, copying, I think it makes no sense.

“Because you can’t take a part of the Red Bull and put it on the Ferrari or the Mercedes. It’s not working.

“But we investigated different directions and I hope that next year we will be in a much better place.”

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F1 2023 has fallen far short of expectations for Ferrari, who are now left to scrap with Mercedes for a distant runner-up spot in the Constructors’ Championship.

The wait therefore for this iconic team to taste title glory again rolls on, having last done so in 2008, Ferrari a team that 2016 World Champion Rosberg revealed he had a “small possibility” to join in his career.

Instead, he stayed loyal to Mercedes, where he rose to title prominence in 2016, retiring from Formula 1 soon after.

“There was a couple of moments where it was a small possibility,” he said when asked if he ever dreamt about a move to Ferrari.

“I had a couple of meetings in Maranello, just because you have to explore the options.

“But the thing was that Mercedes were my family and Mercedes had the fastest car. So it never really made sense for me to push for that change. So that’s why I was very happy to stay at Mercedes and it was the right choice.”

Ferrari trail Mercedes by only 28 points with five rounds of the F1 2023 campaign remaining.

Read next: Lando Norris’ ‘coming for Red Bull’ message analysed by McLaren boss