Red Bull upgrade plans: Christian Horner reveals intriguing new information for rival teams

Oliver Harden
Red Bull's new-look sidepod inlets. Hungary July 2023

Red Bull's new-look sidepod inlets for the RB19. Hungary July 2023

Christian Horner has revealed that Red Bull’s Hungarian Grand Prix upgrade is likely to be the “last significant one” brought to the RB19 car for the rest of the F1 2023 season.

Red Bull are enjoying one of the most dominant campaigns by any team in F1 history in 2023, having won all 10 races held so far this year.

Winner of 33 of the last 54 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning season in 2021, reigning two-time World Champion Max Verstappen secured his sixth successive victory at the British GP earlier this month.

Red Bull development all but done for F1 2023

Having equalled McLaren’s 1988 record of 11 consecutive victories – stretching back to the 2022 season finale in Abu Dhabi – at Silverstone, Red Bull have the chance to make the record their own in Hungary this weekend.

Red Bull arrived in Budapest with a major upgrade package, with a letterbox-style sidepod inlet the most striking of the changes that also included a new floor body and floor edge and front and rear corners.

The slimmed-down style sidepod inlets naturally raised questions about the car’s cooling capabilities, but Horner told Sky Sports F1 that he has full faith that the engineers have got their measurements right.

And he let slip that Red Bull have no plans to bring any more big changes to the car as they continue their pursuit of an historic unbeaten season.

He said: “I think cooling is looking under control, it’s one of the challenges. This upgrade is probably the last significant one before the end of the year. It’s got to take into account some very hot venues – Singapore, street tracks etc, etc.

“The guys are confident in the numbers that they’ve got and the car seems to be cooling OK, so no issues whatsoever.”

The news that Red Bull will make no further improvements to their 2023 car is likely to further enrage Lewis Hamilton, who ahead of the recent Austrian GP expressed his astonishment that the team are allowed to work on next year’s car already.

Hamilton called for teams to be prevented by regulation from starting development on the following year’s car until a set date, August 1, which provoked a sarcastic response from Verstappen, who pointed out that the Mercedes driver had changed his tune since his dominant spell.

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“We weren’t talking about that when he was winning his Championships, right? So I don’t think we should now,” Verstappen remarked.

“That’s how Formula 1 works. When you have a competitive car it’s great, but at one point you also have to look ahead to the next year.

“It’s normal, of course, [for] people behind to say these kinds of things, but they should also not forget how it was looking when they were winning and if people would comment these kinds of things then probably they would comment a bit different, but that’s how it goes in Formula 1.”

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