Red Bull Rivals Copying Their Way Into Contention

F1 Grand Prix Of Monaco Qualifying
F1 Grand Prix Of Monaco Qualifying

Red Bull’s rivals are “copying” their way into contention, according to team F1 advisor Dr Helmut Marko.

Ferrari and McLaren have made big strides towards Red Bull’s position of dominance recently, with both Ferrari drivers winning races in 2024 so far and even Lando Norris securing his first Formula 1 win with McLaren.

“We are now in our third year with the current regulations, and people are copying,” Marko told Osterreich newspaper.

One particular area of technical convergence, according to Germany’s specialist Auto Motor und Sport, is the way Red Bull mastered a way to lower the rear of the car on the straights from the very beginning in 2022.

“This resulted in a sometimes dramatic top speed advantage,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt. “The entire DRS effect was also geared towards this.”

The journalist continued: “It was not until the third year that the competition reacted. Ferrari, Mercedes, Haas and Toro Rosso (Racing Bulls) now have similar systems.

“Ferrari’s is said to be even better than the (Red Bull) original,” Schmidt added.

The solution enables teams to make highly effective miniscule changes to the ride-height – crucial for the ground effect regulations.

“We’re talking about differences of half a millimetre in the setup,” one unnamed team boss confirmed.

Curiously, Schmidt explained that McLaren is actually yet to get a similar system up and running.

“McLaren, Aston Martin, Williams, Sauber and Alpine are still using conventional systems,” he said.

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella confirmed: “We do not have an explicit lowering system, which can be critical with low ground clearance. You can quickly lose downforce in places where you don’t want it.”

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