F1 News: Red Bull Is Taking A Huge Gamble As It Attempts Upgrades Before Imola
Red Bull is looking to update their car before Imola despite there being less time to test these new upgrades due to this weekend launching the first sprint race of the season.
This weekend will see one less practice session due to the introduction of the sprint race on the Saturday. Qualifying has therefore been pushed to the Friday after Free Practice 1, meaning if these changes to the Bull don’t work, they could be in serious trouble.
“It is very clear: Ferrari has such a complex package that is easy to coordinate, everything has to be right so that we can counteract it. That’s exactly why we take this risk of bringing new parts even with just one training session. We want to attack fully and go for our chance instead of just waiting. Ferrari and Leclerc are too strong for that,” Helmut Marko said in an RTL interview.
In contrast, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has told the press that he won’t be changing their car, but will instead be relying on the great performance they’ve been having so far in the season which has seen them head the constructors standings, and driver Charles Leclerc at the top of the driver standings.
Due to the Red Bull still being very heavy compared to the prancing horse, Marko is hoping these changes will see them losing enough weight to be much more competitive with Ferrari at Imola:
“Losing weight in Formula 1 is like people do. It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a lengthy process because we’re a lot overweight, at least a lot more than Ferrari. If we get to Barcelona (May 20-22 , ed.) close to Ferrari level, we will actually already be satisfied.”
He continued: “There are still 20 races to go and more than 500 points to be achieved,” Marko said before harking back to 2010.
“At that time , we were 44 points behind with Vettel during the summer break, also against Ferrari and Alonso at the time and we were still able to turn it around.”
While the RB is designed by legendary aerodynamicist Adrian Newey, Marko still points out a major issue they’re battling with:
“In the first two races we were at eye level with Ferrari, also in Australia in the training sessions. In the race, we fell out of the right temperature window due to non-optimal setup changes and the rise in temperature on Sunday, had graining early on and were against Leclerc ultimately had no chance.”