Verstappen urges Red Bull not to ‘get lazy’ with development


Max Verstappen doesn’t expect Red Bull to stop pushing the development of its RB20 contender amid diminishing returns and the tight battle that has materialized at the sharp end of the F1 field.

While Verstappen has secured seven victories in the first half of the 2024 season, Red Bull is facing strong opposition from its direct rivals - McLaren, Mercedes, and Ferrari.

With the competition heating up, the Dutchman and his team have won only two of the last five races, with Mercedes emerging last weekend at the British GP as a consistent race winner.

Verstappen finished second behind a triumphant Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, exemplifying the shift at the front of the pack and suggesting that Red Bull might be nearing the limit of its development.

But Verstappen has urged his team to “keep pushing”.

"The weekend was just a little bit hit and miss, we were trying a few bits with the car," Verstappen said last weekend, quoted by RacingNews365.

"If we didn't have the damage to the floor, then I would have definitely been in the fight for pole, so that is a positive, and we need to keep pushing.”

Verstappen says Red Bull’s focus should remain firmly on continued development.

"We need to keep bringing bits and I know that they will come - and hopefully they will be better than the upgrades of other teams,” he said.

"I refuse to believe [that you can't find more performance], then you get lazy.

"I'm confident that everyone within the factory is pushing flat out to try and bring bits of performance to the car, but clearly, there are a lot of smart people in other teams that are also doing the same thing."

Red Bull's lead is further challenged by the recent mid-season reset of F1’s Aerodynamic Testing Allocations, which are based on championship positions.

This means teams lower in the standings, like Mercedes who finished fourth, now have more wind tunnel and CFD time to develop their cars.

As the current championship leader, Red Bull receives the fewest allocations with 224 wind tunnel runs and 1,400 CFD simulations compared to Mercedes' 272 wind tunnel runs and 1,700 CFD simulations.

This gives Mercedes valuable extra development time to potentially narrow the performance gap to the bulls.

“Naturally, it would always help to have more time, but that's how the rules are, to try and slow down the winning team," commented Verstappen.

"Honestly, when you are the ones chasing, you're happy it is like that and of course when you are the ones leading, and you're being caught up during the season, it is not what you want.

"But that is just how the rules are written, everyone agreed with it and you just have to get on with it."

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