Formula 1

F1 News: Red Bull’s True Pace Could Be Terrifying

Max Verstappen’s strategic use of C3 medium tires during the final day of pre-season testing showcased the Red Bull RB20’s impressive pace and tire management capabilities, signaling a competitive edge. Ferrari’s SF-24 demonstrated improved on-track performance, thanks to focused winter efforts for a more stable car. However, challenges persisted, as Charles Leclerc’s car experienced a drop in pace at the end of its C3 run.

Key Takeaways:

  • Max Verstappen’s strategic use of C3 medium tires highlighted Red Bull’s impressive pace and tire management capabilities.
  • Ferrari’s SF-24 showed improved performance but faced challenges, indicating further room for enhancement.
  • Aston Martin and McLaren encountered setup challenges, emphasizing the need for swift adjustments.

On the conclusive day of pre-season testing, there was a notable on-track performance from various cars, with Ferrari and McLaren showcasing heightened performance. However, it was when Verstappen took to the track in the RB20, equipped with C3 medium tires, amid a drop in outdoor temperature to 23 degrees Celsius, that the true capabilities of the car became evident.

After completing ten laps on the C3 tires, Verstappen set his fastest time with the medium rubber of 1:37.058. Impressively, he maintained consistent lap times in the 1:37 range even after completing 14 laps, indicating the RB20’s excellent handling of tire degradation.

In contrast to Verstappen’s RB20, Charles Leclerc’s SF-24 experienced a drop in pace towards the end of its C3 run, reaching the 1:38 zone. This difference in performance suggests that Red Bull might have a competitive edge in terms of pace during a Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s concentrated winter endeavors aimed at providing a more stable and predictable car for its drivers have yielded improved on-track performance with the SF-24. However, there is room for further enhancements to compete with Red Bull at the forefront. Challenges were also evident for Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who experienced a drop in pace using the C3 medium rubber, entering the 1:38 zone once, and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who dropped into the 1:39s. These observations underscore the necessity for swift setup adjustments in the Papaya team.

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