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Christian Horner

Red Bull's striking copy of key Mercedes area 'not tactical'

The RB20 takes some inspiration from Mercedes with its striking sidepod and engine cover design, which Team Principal Christian Horner believes was the right direction.

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Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes their copy of a key Mercedes area on their 2024 Formula 1 challenger was 'not a tactical' decision.

The RB20 was unveiled to much anticipation ahead of the new season, as they look to follow up on their dominant RB19 which won 21 of the 22 races in 2023.

One of the more visually striking aspects of the car is on the sidepod region, where the technical team has mimicked the design traits of the Mercedes 'zero sidepod' with the radiator intakes and engine cover.

It is the first significant update to their car concept, since much of the RB18 to RB19 was carried over from year-to-year.

When asked if they intentionally followed the Mercedes' design trait, Horner told media, including RacingNews365: "It's not tactical, it's based on performance and what we're seeing through our simulation tools. The car looks quite visibly different in certain areas compared to last year.

"Only the stopwatch will tell, but in the virtual world we wouldn't have committed to the design if we didn't feel it was better."

Horner: No 'complacency' with car design

As the RB19 often won races by margins over 20 seconds, it would be easy for Red Bull to make use of their advantage in favour of introducing radical changes.

Horner explained that the team did not get "complacent" when designing this year's car, especially with the stability of the regulations enabling teams to catch up quicker.

"It's marginal gains in all areas, so you're constantly looking to try and evolve. If you look at the attention to detail on a car, there's some really exquisite detail," said the Team Principal.

"There's been no complacency, they've continued to evolve and push the boundaries."

Horner expects there to be a lot of attention on their car in the coming weeks leading up to pre-season testing and the first round in Bahrain.

"There is some great innovation on the car as well, and it will no doubt get scrutinised over the coming weeks," said Horner.

"Creativity has been strong in the team and you can see that in some of the solutions they've come up with. It's not a conservative evolution, there is some great innovation on the car."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix