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Adrian Newey

Newey explains rationale behind drastic RB20 changes

The RB19 won 21 out of 22 races in 2023. You would think that it would be a good base to continue developing into 2024? Technical officer Adrian Newey decided to change tact.

Verstappen Piastri Bahrain
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

After one of the most dominant years in Formula 1 history, Adrian Newey and his technical team decided to drastically change their new car from the RB19.

The 2023 car took 22 wins out of 23 races, with 19 of them coming with Max Verstappen at the wheel. History in F1 dictates that teams usually gravitate towards developing successful designs, but Red Bull has decided to go for a more aggressive design solution with RB20.

The sidepods and engine cover stood out on their new design which resembles the failed Mercedes concept used in the W14, while the other teams went decided to copy the best of last year's RB19 design.

In conversation with the German Auto, Motor und Sport, Newey explains his rationale: "We knew the others would copy us. If we would've just developed last year's car further, it would not have been enough."

The true gap to rivals

Verstappen emerged from the first day of testing with a 1.1 second lead over the next fastest car by the end of the day.

Red Bull Advisor Helmut Marko warns that people should not draw to too many conclusions, considering there are various factors that played into their hands during their runs.

"The lead is not as big as it seems. We were the only ones on the track with fresh medium tires in the cool evening hours. That explains the big jump we made in the afternoon," said Marko.

"We estimate the actual lead at three tenths of a second."

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