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F1 news

Brundle offers 'internal' theory behind Red Bull performance decline

Are the off-track events of this season starting to catch up with Red Bull on track?

Verstappen Imola race
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Martin Brundle has been left in no doubt that a contributory factor to Red Bull's recent dip in performance has been the "internal events" that have occurred in recent months.

Red Bull emerged from Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix with plenty of food for thought following a difficult weekend that exposed the flaws of the RB20 as it struggled over the principality's kerbs and bumps whilst under pressure from rivals Ferrari and McLaren.

In the previous two races, McLaren took the fight to Red Bull and Verstappen, initially in Miami where Lando Norris secured his first victory in F1, whilst around Imola a fortnight later, the Briton came with three-quarters of a second of securing back-to-back wins.

With Ferrari's Charles Leclerc winning his home race in Monaco where Verstappen could only finish sixth, the gap at the top between the two is only 31 points.

Red Bull is facing its first real test since the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations at the start of 2022, with former F1 driver and Sky co-commentator Martin Brundle in no doubt the events since pre-season are now catching up with the team.

The internal investigation surrounding team principal Christian Horner has exposed an internal power dynamic within Red Bull that has seemingly played a part in design guru Adrian Newey's decision to leave.

Assessing the situation, and writing in his Sky column, Brundle said: "Ferrari and McLaren are on a fine run, both teams and driver pairings looking very cohesive, focused, and well structured.

"This means that Red Bull are very much looking in their rear mirrors in both the drivers' and constructors' Championships and it appears to be game-on with so many races to come.

"I personally have no doubt the internal events at Red Bull have detracted from their recent performances, and they'll be desperately keen to resume normal service in Montreal next time out."

F1 history created in Monaco

Whilst Brundle was naturally delighted for Leclerc historically triumphing on home soil, he was left saddened as to how the race played out after it was red-flagged on the opening lap following a major collision involving Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

During the delay, the teams were allowed to change their tyres, ensuring the leaders, in particular, were able to cover the remaining 77 laps after the restart untroubled on their choice of rubber.

Hailing Leclerc's "perfect performance" and "fairytale ending", he then lamented what was "sadly a non-event of a race".

He added: "At the best of times, this layout needs an awkwardly timed safety car or red flag, or rain. Better still, all three.

"The worst-case scenario is a first-lap red flag on a day when two of the three tyre compounds can be massaged into completing the entire 78-lap race distance, thereby making best use of the regulations which permit a tyre change during the red flag stoppage, and so enabling everyone to also tick the box for using two different tyre compounds during a dry race. And that's exactly what happened.

"This created a scenario where Ferrari, with Leclerc out front and Carlos Sainz in third, basically measured their pace to George Russell in fifth place, a driver they would never again see in their mirrors after a few laps, to avoid a pit stop window opportunity opening up for the McLaren of Lando Norris in fourth.

"So, on the second standing start after the red flag, the top ten finished in exactly the same order for the first time in F1 history."

Also interesting:

Is Ocon's future now in danger after the incident in Monaco? And has the track become too outdated for F1? In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Tune in below!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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