After his third-place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen complained about how his Red Bull was turning into corners.
The narrow Monte Carlo streets made clear that the RB18 does not corner as precise and stable as the Ferrari F1-75: its closest rival in the race for the World Championship crown.
The problem was seen through most clearly the Swimming Pool section of the circuit, and also through other high-speed corners where a sudden change of direction was required.
It is an unexpected setback for Red Bull, given the team's decision to run a pull-rod configuration suspension (see photo below) for the 2022 season, with the main goal being – during a season in which the cars are running heavier than ever – to increase the RB18's agility.
The car is running a particular pull-rod configuration. The front arms of the upper wishbones are linked together, creating a single element. This generates itself a stiffer suspension set-up. That should, on paper, make it easier to adjust the car's ride height. However, it is proving to be a limitation of Red Bull's new car.
Regardless of the damper and torsion bar settings, the suspension on the RB18 is proving to be too stiff. Even when all elements are tuned to be softer, Red Bull have been unable to find an advantage through the corners.
Finding a solution while sticking to their initial design concept could prove tricky. The positioning of the wishbones may have to be adjusted, and thus a new position found for the pull rods.
It is possible that a multi-link suspension system could be used, where the suspension is made up of several rods.
Should Red Bull opt to do so, it means a significant change (one that cannot be implemented with ease) to their race-winning car. A change of such proportions may have to wait until during F1's summer break.
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RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the Monaco Grand Prix, and reflect on whether decisions made by the Race Director were overly cautious.