Max Verstappen’s budget cap warning with potential Red Bull RB20 ‘redesign’ needed

Michelle Foster
A dramatic shot of Max Verstappen's Red Bull in action at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in action in the RB20

Having suffered in Monaco where he complained of headaches and could only qualify P6, Max Verstappen says a redesign “might” be needed but that Red Bull “can’t do that” with the budget cap.

Although Red Bull dominated the first two seasons in Formula 1’s ground-effect aerodynamic era, this year the competition – notably Ferrari and McLaren – have narrowed the gap.

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull fix ‘will take time’

And it has exposed one big weakness in the Red Bull F1 car: its suspension.

While other teams dealt with porpoising and bouncing in the first two seasons of the new regulations, Red Bull didn’t have to worry about that such was their pace advantage over the chasing pack.

However, now that their rivals are closer, they have – in Verstappen words – been “found out” with the Dutchman suffering over the kerbs at Imola and even worse in Monaco.

That left him down in sixth place in qualifying, where his team-mate Sergio Perez wasn’t even able to progress from Q1, with Verstappen unable to make up ground in the race.

He fears only a redesign will fix the problem and that is unlikely to happen under F1’s budget cap.

“It takes time,” he told the media in Montreal. “You have to redesign things, you have to come up with different things on the car and that is work in progress.

“It’s been a problem since day one of the new regulations, and this is something that we know and we haven’t been able to fix it yet.

“I do think that after Monaco it gave us another wake-up call. We had a lot of good meetings at the factory and discussions where I feel like there’s a bit more focus on that now, to try and improve that.

“I feel like, of course, with everyone catching up, naturally you can’t rely on your advantage anymore, even though your kerb riding is bad or whatever. So it definitely needs to be fixed.

“But, yeah, it just takes a bit of time to really make let’s say, big changes on the car, because some things, our design, might need to get redesigned or whatever. And you can’t do that with the budget cap.”

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Expecting another difficult weekend in Montreal, although it was Red Bull’s ERS issues that blighted his day on a rainy Friday, Verstappen insists it is not all doom and gloom for Red Bull.

“I still think that we can do a good job this year if everything works out,” he said. “But at the moment, yeah, we have to try a few things, see what works best.

“And then, for sure, I think maybe some things will be different next year that maybe are a bit more difficult to let’s say redesign this year. But I’m still hopeful and confident that we can do a better job already this year.”

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