Formula 1

Max Verstappen Evaluates the New RB20: Insights Following Bahrain Race

Max Verstappen offered an insightful assessment of Red Bull Racing’s new RB20 following the Bahrain Grand Prix, revealing both similarities and enhancements compared to its predecessor, the RB19. This article explores his first-hand experience with the RB20, offering a glimpse into Red Bull Racing’s strategy and Verstappen’s reactions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Red Bull Racing’s strategy pivoted from evolving the RB19 to introducing the RB20, aiming to outpace competitors by adopting a new design approach.
  • Max Verstappen finds the RB20’s driving feel comparable yet slightly superior to the RB19, especially in terms of lower-speed performance.
  • Verstappen admits initial doubts about the RB20’s capabilities but acknowledges the team’s proficiency in simulations and wind tunnel testing, underlining their successful track record.

After a triumphant 2023 season with the RB19, Red Bull Racing, under the guidance of Adrian Newey, faced a crucial choice for the upcoming season. Opting for innovation, the team launched the RB20, a fresh direction differing from the RB19’s successful design, to prevent competitors from mimicking their previous car.

This decision triggered a blend of excitement and skepticism in the racing world, with many questioning whether the RB20 could match the high performance of its predecessor right from the start. The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first real test of this new machine.

Max Verstappen, the current world champion, expressed his contentment with the RB20 post-race, noting a familiar yet slightly improved driving experience. He shared his thoughts, stating, “I think the feeling in the car is pretty similar, just a little bit better. Last year’s car was already very good with some tiny improvements here and there. Especially a bit more low speed, the car just feels a bit better. But overall, when I jumped in it didn’t feel like a completely different car to drive or whatever. So that was positive.”

Despite these optimistic remarks, Verstappen didn’t hide his initial concerns. Switching to a new car design inherently comes with uncertainties. He revealed his apprehension, commenting, “It is always a little bit of a question mark. If you look at the car you’re like, ‘oh is this going to work?’ But clearly they have done their homework, they trust all the simulations and also the wind tunnel and it has shown the last few years that they have been very good at it.”

Red Bull Racing’s strategic move to innovate, backed by thorough simulation and testing, appears to have been successful. The team, led by Newey’s visionary approach, hints at further substantial development. As the season progresses, it will be intriguing to see how far the RB20 can go, particularly under Verstappen’s skilled command.

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