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Max Verstappen

Red Bull explain secret Verstappen test

Max Verstappen was back in his 2022 Red Bull on Wednesday, but why? The team reveals all.

Verstappen zandvoort
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Red Bull has explained why Max Verstappen conducted a private test in its 2022 car around Imola on Wednesday.

The team has confirmed the three-time F1 champion returned to the scene of his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix victory last month in the two-year-old Red Bull.

The RB18 was the first car of the current aerodynamic regulations, one that carried him to 15 grand prix wins that year, from 22 races, and the second of his drivers' titles.

Although the car has evolved since the end of that season, Red Bull has encountered issues with this year's RB20 it is trying to dial out related to its stiffness as it has found difficulties in riding the kerbs and bumps.

Breaking down the behind-closed-doors session, chief engineer Monaghan said: "We really tried to give Max a reference from a previous car.

"When you're trying to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a current car, his reference is the current car. We're told, 'Well, in previous years we've had this, we've had that'. Have we really? Because we haven't run them at the same time.

"So in taking that car out, we tried to give Max a reference to judge it from and he's been able to give us feedback from that, and it's up to us what we do with it."

Verstappen logged considerable mileage in order to understand the differences between the two cars and where Red Bull can hopefully now improve the RB20 as the team and Dutch driver face a fight to retain its constructors' and drivers' titles this year.

As to whether Verstappen's feedback would now change in light of what he experienced with the RB18, Monaghan added: "His feedback won't change as such, we just give him a different reference.

"The strengths and weaknesses of the cars are how we perceive it, and obviously judged relative to our opposition.

"But we blend that with his comments, Checo's comments, and we say, 'Okay, are we good? Are we bad?'

"We look in the data to see if it's valid to say we're better or worse than other people. What's his perception? Why is he saying it? And then what on earth do we do about it?"

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