‘In Mercedes’ slipstream’ – Pundit jokes about Red Bull’s Monaco issues

Michelle Foster
George Russell, Mercedes, ahead of Max Verstappen, Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

George Russell, Mercedes, ahead of Max Verstappen, Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes.

Struggling on the kerbs in Monaco after their simulator and what they saw on-track didn’t correlate, Christijan Albers joked Red Bull “are in Mercedes’ slipstream”.

This year’s championship has seen several teams reveal correlation issues, most notably Mercedes who saw downforce and lap time back in the factory but failed to replicate it on the track.

‘Red Bull are in Mercedes’ slipstream’

Now Red Bull also appear to have a problem.

“The problem starts in the simulator, which signalled that the car was going well over the kerbs,” the team’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told Speedweek. “Put simply, this means that the simulator and reality do not correlate.”

With Red Bull’s RB20 baring more of a resemblance to yesteryear’s Mercedes than it does the 2023 all-conquering RB19, former F1 driver Albers told on De Telegraaf podcast: “They are in Mercedes’ slipstream! They never know where it comes from.”

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Red Bull’s kerb issues could hurt them in Canada

At a time when McLaren and Ferrari have closed the gap on Red Bull with their in-season upgrades, Albers believes are in the thick of an intense development war.

It’s one that, unless part of Red Bull’s next package includes a fix for their stiff suspension, could cost them. But against McLaren more than Ferrari.

“The McLaren looks a lot like the Red Bull, but mechanically they are two very different cars,” he said. “The McLaren can smash over the kerbs, and so can the Ferrari, but Red Bull cannot achieve that.

“I don’t think they saw this coming at Red Bull.

“Now it’s all about timing. When will the teams release the next upgrades? That will now also play a role.

“I don’t believe Ferrari is so strong now that they will win in Canada, because Canada is also about top speed, and Ferrari is often not quite there in terms of top speed.

“Then you get a battle between Red Bull and McLaren again, and McLaren is doing well over the kerbs. There are four serious chicanes in Canada, which are also high, so you also have to take those kerbs.”

Red Bull head to Montreal having already lost three of this year’s eight races whereas last year they only lost one of 22.

The team remains P1 in the championships with Max Verstappen leading the Drivers’ standings by 169 to Monaco GP winner Charles Leclerc’s 138 with Red Bull 24 ahead of Ferrari in the teams’ championship.

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