Red Bull discover cause of poor RB20 performance…and the same could happen again

Henry Valantine
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen gets oh-so close to the barrier in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen gets oh-so close to the barrier in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko admitted that “the simulator and reality do not correlate” on the RB20, regarding the team’s issues over kerb riding.

He said the problem reared its head in the team’s off-weekend in Singapore last season too, with the newest Red Bull reacting like a “kangaroo” in Monaco this time around.

Red Bull admit correlation issue with ‘kangaroo’ RB20 in Monaco

Max Verstappen had said his car felt like a “go-kart” on the streets of Monaco, such was the way his suspension was reacting to the bumps and kerbs of Monte Carlo, and admitted he was not going to be able to react to Ferrari’s pace over the weekend as a result.

Charles Leclerc took victory for the Scuderia on Sunday after a sterling qualifying lap while Verstappen finished sixth, with team-mate Sergio Perez retiring in a first-lap collision with Kevin Magnussen, but Marko admitted the RB20 was “nervous” throughout.

Because of this correlation issue they found, he said the car may not be comfortable at the next round in Canada either, despite it being a much higher-speed circuit overall.

“The Ferrari literally floated over the kerbs in the swimming pool, so it was out of reach,” Marko wrote in a column for Speedweek.

“We had more trouble riding over the kerbs, but the kangaroo was in play for us. That was relatively well adapted for qualifying and we could assume that Max would have been on the front row of the grid.

“But of course, when you have a car that is so nervous, even a driver like Max can make a mistake.

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“What’s more, he tried to maximise his time in the first sector, because that was the only sector in which we were faster than the Ferraris. And he did everything he could to minimise the time loss in the other sectors.

“The problem starts in the simulator, which signalled that the car was going well over the kerbs.

“Put simply, this means that the simulator and reality do not correlate. And Monaco was not the first race track where we had this problem; it was first relatively severe in Singapore.

“There, the simulator spat out something that didn’t correspond to reality. That is the first point we will address.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to find out at least once why the simulator produces data that does not correspond to reality. But Montreal could also be a difficult weekend for us.”

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