Red Bull technical director Pierre Wache has denied the Milton Keynes squad is holding something back when it comes to the true performance of their RB19.
This season Red Bull have romped to seven wins in as many races, six of which have seen the race-winning RB19 cross the line 20 seconds or more ahead of the nearest non-Red Bull car.
It has rivals, most notably George Russell, suggesting the Milton Keynes squad actually has pace in reserve, they just don’t want to show it and risk having the FIA get involved.
Wache says this isn’t true.
“Not really,” he said when asked if there was ‘still more potential’ they’d yet to use.
“In qualy for sure, we are pushing. After, during the race, as everybody, we are saving the tyre, or managing the tyre to increase the stint lengths or give more choice in strategy – but like everybody is doing.
“No, I think we are as everybody.”
‘As everybody’ rivals would argue is a loose term given that unlike everybody Red Bull are winning races, and doing so with a significant margin over their rivals.
It had team boss Christian Horner saying after Spain that despite rivals’ radical upgrades, Red Bull still have the same lead as they did back at race one.
Wache doesn’t entirely agree.
“You see that in qualy for sure they are every time closer, in terms of pure performance,” he said. “After, in terms of management of pace during the race, we have some advantage – but I’m sure they can unlock, and you see some update coming from our competitor here and, for sure, it will be closer.”
Some of those updates have been based on Red Bull’s own car with Mercedes and Ferrari both going down the downwash concept with their sidepods while rival outfits were also recently given a good look at the RB19’s floor when Sergio Perez crashed in Monaco.
Asked for his thoughts on that, Wache said: “It was not the fact that we see the floor: the frustration was more that the car was in the wall – I think the main frustration. But yeah, it’s how it is – and it happened to our competitor also. The car was in the air.
“They see some detail on the floor but I am sure you can ask them what they see and if they were to learn something. But I think they already had some pictures from the garage, and saw some detail of it before.”
Told the RB19 was clearly an ‘incredible car’, the Frenchman replied: “Honestly I think when you make the car, you try to make it as quick as possible. As quick a car as possible.
“And after, the success is also depending not only on you but also on the others. Then yeah, the difference is bigger than what we expected.”
Putting it down to “efficiency”, he added: “On different tracks we are able to produce downforce without massive drag. That I think is the main strength, yeah.”
Good news for Red Bull is that F1 chief Stefano Domenicali has already ruled out using rule changes to rein in the Milton Keynes squad.
“It’s not correct because we cannot be seen as part of manipulation,” Domenicali said on the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“This is not correct, and this is not fair. I am not imagining at all this kind of approach.
“I think that the gap is between one team and the others.
“We need to consider that they [Red Bull] did an incredible job. It is true that the gap seems to be big, but we need to be prudent, because we know in life things can change very quickly.
“The others are very, very close. If you look at the gaps to the other teams, I think that they did an incredible job, [and it] needs to be rewarded.”