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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull: We’re ‘not being lethargic’ but title will be ‘tight fight’

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has stated the team is "not being lethargic" in its approach to upgrades despite losing ground to McLaren and Ferrari in recent weeks.

Verstappen race Monaco
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Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan insists the team is "not being lethargic" in bringing upgrades to the RB20, but does admit the rest of the season will be a "tight fight all the way."

Having been reeled in by McLaren and Ferrari over the last three rounds, the Milton Keynes team faces a championship battle few would have predicted at the start of the season.

With both its closest challengers having introduced substantial updates to their cars in recent weeks, pressure is now on Red Bull to provide its own suite of upgrades, with Sergio Perez even contending that the team must respond to its rivals in kind.

However, Monaghan has made it clear that the constructors' champions should not doubt its development process, saying a plan is in place.

"Okay, nice of him to inform us - I'll go and have a word with him about that," Monaghan joked to media including RacingNews365 when made aware of Perez's comments ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

"The visual aspects of an upgrade is not necessarily indicative of its aerodynamic performance. It's not like we've got a car that's off the pace, where we need to experiment potentially with larger changes. We have a really competitive car. I think we have a good understanding of it - we shouldn't doubt our development process. We have upgrades coming.

"The larger the manufacturing requirement determines when we can bring it, so we've got upgrades coming, and it's not something you react to because last week we were a bit tight, and Miami obviously we were beaten - the plan is in and we are not being lethargic in bringing the upgrades. So, when they're ready, they're on - don't worry. It's going to be a race with several people now."

'It's gonna be a tight fight all the way'

Monaghan's comments came before to the Monaco Grand Prix, where Red Bull continued to struggle relative to its early season form.

Perez could not prevent himself getting knocked out in the first part of qualifying, whilst Max Verstappen had to abort his final push lap - having to settle for starting the race from sixth, where he finished the race on Sunday.

Whilst Red Bull found the weekend in Monte Carlo last year more difficult than others, it was still able to take victory in the principality, and it did not have two prior rounds where it had been ran close - or even been beaten - by rivals.

"I think there's generally a convergence, isn't there. The others are on us. It's gonna be a tight fight all the way," Monaghan remarked when asked about growing similarities between the leading teams and how they achieve their lap times.

"I think there's still a little bit of spread. If you say there are three speed ranges of corner - low, medium, high - there's still a little bit of scatter. But it's a moving target. 

"So each circuit presents us with a set of challenges. We just have to turn up and address them better than everybody else. If we achieve our lap time a little bit differently to our nearest opposition, fine - that's our choice... the cars can make their own choices, and as we will, [at] every circuit."

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!

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