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Red Bull Racing

F1 team explains how Red Bull makes the difference

While the battle between much of the grid has been close so far in 2023, Red Bull look to be significantly ahead of the competition. Haas have identified the areas in which Max Verstappen's team are making the difference.

Verstappen Magnussen Miami 2023
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Haas have explained the areas in which they believe that Red Bull are making the difference in comparison to other teams.

While the competition has been close between Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari – as well as the midfield battle amongst much of the rest of the grid – Max Verstappen's team look to have a significant edge over their competitors so far in 2023.

Haas are one of those locked into the wide-ranging midfield fight. The American outfit's car is most similar to Ferrari's, but the Scuderia seem to be struggling to squeeze more out of their concept.

Asked if the team at Haas have noticed that the Ferrari concept's development ceiling is lower, Juan Molina, Principal Aerodynamicist of the US outfit, pointed out the importance of something completely different.

"It's not only the bodywork, but how that works with your floor and your rear wing, and how you have the different parts of the car," Molina told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think probably that's more of a key as the regulations evolve and we are all converging, whether the bodywork looks one way or the other is not important. It's more [that] you are converging towards a platform of performance, low-speed, high-speed, etc.

"So as you go towards there, now the question is where do you find the performance and the link between the aerodynamics, and where the car is on the ground is important."

Performance of Red Bull

It is in this area that Molina believes Red Bull are performing strongly.

"If you look at Red Bull, you can see they know where their car is and where they want to put the car, exactly, all the time," he explained.

"And that, to me, is something that is becoming more important as the regulations evolve. So there's the performance, but I think the 2026 regulations probably come at the right time, when we start to stagnate, but still there is room for extracting performance.

"We talked about the bodywork, but I think there is more than bodywork to get the performance."

Not just aerodynamics

Haas have scored eight points so far in 2023, meaning that they currently sit in P7 of the Constructors' standings. In 2022 the squad ended the year in eighth place.

When asked how difficult it is to be like Red Bull in terms of having a stable base that allows them to have the car the way they want it right away, Molina said: "Last year, our departments were still involved in learning to talk to each other.

"This year, we're much better and you can see it's not only about the aerodynamics, but how we link those departments together. What we develop in the tunnel, how it translates to what you see on track, how you set up the car.

"So you can see the guys have done a very good job in learning how to set up the car pretty quick in three days of pre-season testing. So I think that's what becomes very important, but it's not easy, otherwise everybody would be where Red Bull is.

"I think people [on the outside] focus too much on the bodywork. In here we understand what the differences are between all the bodyworks [of different cars].

"Okay, maybe the Mercedes one we'll leave on the side. But [there might be a lot happening] in other areas that you might see or you might not see."

Active suspension

On whether Red Bull's stable base and their ability to set up the car in the way that they want to are the main strengths of the championship leaders, Molina agreed.

"Yeah, I think if you think about active suspension – and I'm not saying anybody has it – then you'd probably win the championship, because you can develop the car in a specific [way]," the Haas man said.

"So that's why, if you understand what your car is doing, or where you want to put your car and you can put your car there, you can get performance.

"So you probably see the teams going in that direction, [looking] to understand the car. It's obviously important for the driver."

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.

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