Adrian Newey has detailed a choice Red Bull was forced to take with its 2024 RB20 Formula 1 car in a bid to keep rivals behind.
In 2023, Red Bull's RB19 won 21 of 22 races, scored 860 championship points and cemented itself as one of the best F1 machines of all-time, following on from the success of the first year of the ground effects regulations in 2022.
In both those seasons, Red Bull enjoyed a sizeable pace advantage over the field, but as rules cycles mature, history points to field convergence as other teams make bigger gains over the otherwise dominant outfit who are left with a smaller development pool.
When designing the RB20, which is to be revealed on February 15th, Chief Technical Officer Newey revealed the dilemma facing the team in terms of continuing to develop its concept or rip it up and start again.
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Newey on RB20
"It is very much a third evolution of the 2022 car," Newey told the in-house Red Bull Talking Bull podcast of the RB20.
"Last year's car was an evolution of the 2022 car, with its main points [of development] being the normal winter development in terms of aerodynamics, some understanding on what we need to do with suspension to try and improve the car.
"We never got down to the weight limit in 2022 and this year's car is the third evolution of that original RB18.
"Now what we don't know is will the third evolution be too conservative while others have done something different. We just don't know.
"It is difficult and there is that kind of 'should we have a group that goes out and looks at left-field ideas?' or do we keep developing the route we've taken.
"We're resource-limited - so we can't do everything, we can't look at every avenue, so we've taken the approach of developing what we've got, and hopefully that will be the prudent and correct decision."