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Red Bull Racing

Coulthard teases when Red Bull could deliver first RB20 upgrades

The Red Bull ambassador was speaking after the RB20 completed its shakedown at Silverstone before pre-season testing.

To news overview © XPBimages

David Coulthard has hinted that Red Bull could follow an aggressive upgrade development plan with its RB20 car.

The new machine was unveiled in Milton Keynes last week with the sidepods of particular note with an apparent vertical inlet with the car looking like a 2023-style Mercedes.

It is a big move away from the concept of the dominant RB19 of 2023 that took 21 wins from 22 races, with the team being secretive about its new design.

Former driver turned pundit and Red Bull ambassador Coulthard has suggested that, like most teams, upgrades will be delivered throughout testing - but also teased the possibility of a further one during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

"I think the technical team were happy with the numbers they were getting in terms of… the things you can get out of that, the cooling and load sensors," the 13-time Grand Prix winner told F1.com.

"Even if you went out and thought the car was amazing in a shakedown, the only thing that matters is Saturday qualifying and ultimately Sunday race [at the first round] in Bahrain.

"It’s a launch iteration… there will be upgrades coming to the test up until the last day and there might even be an upgrade that comes for the Friday of the Bahrain race, and all of these upgrades are expected to change performance, balance and lap time.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but you’ve got to believe Ferrari had a strong car last year in terms of single-lap pace."

The former Williams, McLaren and Red Bull driver also assessed the chances of Ferrari and Mercedes in catching up to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez over the coming season.

"If they’ve managed to improve on whatever it was that was making their race pace difficult then they are a real contender," he said of Ferrari.

"Mercedes were making big strides at the end of the year… McLaren, again, back of the grid in Bahrain, pretty much at the front of the grid in Abu Dhabi, so [there was] huge growth during the course of the year."

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