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Toto Wolff

Wolff praises Red Bull's RB20: 'An extremely courageous step'

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has had his say on Red Bull's bold RB20 design.

Wolff Horner
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has indicated that he is impressed by the car Red Bull has introduced for 2024, to help Max Verstappen win a fourth consecutive Drivers' Championship.

The RB20 has a completely different concept than the dominant RB19, which won 21 of the 22 races last season.

When the RB20 was presented, the F1 world was already looking with big eyes at Red Bull 's new car designed by Adrian Newey . After the test days in Bahrain, the awe for the new car has only increased.

"An extremely courageous step," Wolff admitted in conversation with the Austrian Channel ORF. "Because if they had proceeded conservatively, they would have developed a really good car further.

"However, the data is leading in the development of the car and the data has probably shown that these developments of the new car produce significantly more downforce or better driving behaviour. Otherwise Red Bull would not have done it.

"And they have always been innovative in recent years, they were the team that was the benchmark. And in that respect, I'm convinced that they knew what they were doing."

'The Great Wall'

What is striking about the new RB20 is that Red Bull appears to have partly adopted the zero sidepod concept that was unsuccessful at Mercedes.

“Not only the zero sidepod, but of course we also had this bodywork engine cover, which we called 'The Great Wall', which they have adopted. It's not marvellous aesthetically, but it makes sense ,” admitted Wolff.

"But the real performance takes place on the underfloor. These are ground-effect cars, where it's also about the downforce and the mechanical handling characteristics.

"And that's where they've been very strong in recent years, and there will probably have been a further development, but not such a radical change of concept as you can see at first glance with the bodywork."

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