Red Bull have hinted that they will take a bold approach with the RB20 car for the F1 2024 season, with the team wary of the progress made by their rivals.
Red Bull have enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons in history in 2023, winning all but one of the 20 races held so far with a record 17 victories going to newly crowned three-time World Champion Max Verstappen.
With such a comfortable advantage over the opposition, Red Bull are said to have commenced work on the 2024 car some time ago as they look to consolidate – or even strengthen – their position at the head of the field.
Red Bull to raise the bar even higher in F1 2024 with RB20?
Reports in Italy last weekend claimed Red Bull are intent on “annihilating” the rest of the field in 2024 by developing their existing ideas to an “extreme level” with the team effectively working on a “radically” different concept to this year’s RB19.
Ahead of this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, chief engineer Paul Monaghan has revealed that the RB20 will fundamentally be an evolution of the current car – but stressed the need to make even more gains as the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes close in.
According to Motorsport.com, he said: “It would be wrong of us to just leave it alone because our opposition is getting a bit closer.
“But the rules are quite tight compared to what we’ve had in previous years and with previous generations of car, where we could do a little bit more and move things around.
“It perhaps wouldn’t surprise you if I said it will be an evolution of the current car, as it will be a bit foolish to throw this concept away.
“But equally, we’ve got to make some progress. We’ve got to find some lap time. The opposition is on us and if they do a step, then we’d better have a bigger step.
“But [the RB20] carries over a lot of the lessons and benefits of the current car, and then from Bahrain next year, we’ll see whether we’ve done a good enough job.”
Red Bull’s development of the RB19 was restricted by the 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel and CFD time imposed after the team were found to have breached the 2021 cost cap.
With the penalty served, the team are able to develop the 2024 car at full capacity – and Monaghan is convinced that teh restrictions imposed on Red Bull for the winter of 2022/23 will benefit them in the long run, forcing the team to become more efficient with the research-and-development time at their disposal.
He explained: “It forced us to look again at the efficiency with which we do tests in the wind tunnel environment and in CFD. And whilst everybody has a restriction, everybody wants the efficiency, so that caused us to make some small improvements.
“I don’t think they will be revolutionary, but any of those refinements we will keep as our benefit because, as we get a few more morsels of testing, then we use those morsels more efficiently.”