Red Bull’s ‘very subtle’ steps to keep rivals at bay this season

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner smiling. Bahrain, March 2023.

Christian Horner smiling. Bahrain, March 2023.

At a time when Mercedes have brought out a B-spec car and Ferrari adopted a new development path, Christian Horner has praised Red Bull as their “very subtle” upgrades have maintained their advantage.

This season Red Bull are working with a significant handicap, as Horner has previously billed it, in Aerodynamic Testing Restriction time as the team has the least number of wind tunnel runs and CFD time having won last year’s Constructors’ Championship while that was further reduced by their budget cap penalty.

Slashed to just 63 per cent of the overall time, Horner said in pre-season testing that it was up to Red Bull to “adapt to the handicap”. It seems a case of so far, so good.

Last time out in Spain, Red Bull extended their winning streak for this season to seven from seven races and Max Verstappen took another step closer to a third successive Drivers’ title with his fifth win of the campaign.

His Spanish Grand Prix win saw the Dutchman take the chequered flag 24s ahead of Lewis Hamilton with the other Mercedes of George Russell in third place. That also meant that excluding Australia, no non-Red Bull car has finished within 20s of the race-winning RB19.

Horner says his designers and engineers deserve the credit for that. recommends

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“The way that we’re strategically using the ATR because of course, we have to balance it for this year and for next year, with the development that’s currently going on,” Horner said, “so the team are just doing an incredible, incredible job being extremely efficient.

“You can see we’ve very subtly developed the car since since Bahrain, we’ve seen others bringing significant upgrades to that and the margin has remained pretty much the same from where it was in Bahrain.

“So that’s hugely encouraging to everybody in Milton Keynes who are doing an outstanding job at the moment.”

Interestingly one of the upgrades Red Bull have brought this season is to their floor with chief engineer Paul Monaghan revealing they actually copied a piece of the Williams floor for their own RB19.

“We cannot assume that we have the best solution in all areas of the single-seater when you put a new car on the ground for the first time,” Monaghan said, as per the Italian edition of

“We as a parameter have the lap time to evaluate a solution, and if you find that Williams introduced a floor design that others then copied, so it was a sign that it had to give an advantage.”