Max Verstappen has pinpointed street circuits as a weakness of the all-conquering Red Bull RB19 after a year of winning all but one of the races.
Street circuits hardly proved much of an obstacle for the RB19, but Singapore was the venue for Red Bull’s only off-colour weekend of the season, where Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz stormed to victory back in September.
Verstappen has won 18 of the 21 races so far in 2023 – an all-time Formula 1 record – and has already secured the highest win ratio of any driver in one season in F1 history, breaking a 70-year record previously held by Alberto Ascari in the process.
Max Verstappen highlights where Red Bull RB19 ‘struggles’ compared to usual
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
There is no doubting that the RB19 is one of the most dominant cars ever produced in Formula 1 when paired with Verstappen, but that does not make it infallible.
Verstappen pointed to street layouts for where the gaps to the rest of the teams have been lower throughout the season, with bumps and kerbs on tracks proving to be more of an obstacle for him.
In so much as it is a weak point for the all-conquering machine, the three-time World Champion pointed it out all the same.
“Of course there are,” Verstappen said to media including PlanetF1.com when asked if there are any weaknesses within the RB19.
“Look at our race weekend in Singapore. So in general, on street circuits, I think we are struggling a bit more, like in Vegas also.
“Lower speeds is definitely not our strongest point in the car – bumps, kerbs as well – so that’s definitely a big area where we can get improved.”
Attention has already long since turned to the RB20 for Red Bull, where they hope to build on one of the most dominant cars ever produced for next season.
With testing time limited and their advantage so large, the team opted to use what available resources they had to switch to 2024 development early, but Verstappen is unsure what gap Red Bull need to maintain to the opposition to keep their advantage come next season.
“It’s difficult to tell, but of course we are also working on our car to try and make it better,” he said when asked how much Red Bull need to improve over winter.
“I think we know our weaknesses as well in the car, and that’s what we’ll of course try to work on – plus, of course, trying to make our strengths even stronger.”