Red Bull improvements in pipeline for Imola

Date published: March 31 2021 - Tom Rawcliffe

Max Verstappen Red Bull

Red Bull are doing all they can to maximise the RB16B’s performance before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, says chief engineer Paul Monaghan.

Last year’s runners-up came into the new season believing they are in a much better position to challenge the dominant Mercedes, and that proved to be the case in Bahrain.

Max Verstappen enjoyed a strong tussle with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton during the season opener but just fell short of victory, finishing just 0.7sec behind.

Despite their victory, Mercedes believe they do not have the pace to match Red Bull, with Toto Wolff claiming Christian Horner’s team are “leading the way”, but Red Bull are not resting on their laurels.

Their chief engineer Monaghan has revealed they are doing everything they can to keep improving the performance of the RB16B.

Quoted by Motorsport, Monaghan said: “Some developments are already in the pipeline for Imola, more for subsequent races, so it’s now a two-pronged fight.

“We need this car to be put down on the ground and run and give us no hiccups. We will put as much performance onto the car as we possibly can by Imola.

“Our destiny is in our control and we can’t influence what Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and everybody else want to do. So we’ve got to remain focused.”

Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen

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A major strength of the new Red Bull challenger is its timings on the high-speed sections of tracks, and Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has said this week they are worried the nature of the next two races – Imola and Portimao – suit Red Bull more than themselves.

But Monaghan and co still believe they have improvements to make elsewhere on the car, and know that in order to stay close to the team chasing eight consecutive World Championships they need to keep improving.

“It’s not all about going to Imola and chalking a win up on the board to say ‘oh, we’re World Champions’ – that’s not going to happen,” continued Monaghan.

“It’s going to be a long fight for a long season and it’s not won and lost in Bahrain.

“There was a sense of disappointment in the garage, which was felt by all. But we’ve got a quick car, a fantastic pair of drivers, a good team and everybody’s aware that we will be challenging all the way through.”

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