Red Bull’s domination of F1’s new regulation era has seen many of their rivals converge to a sidepod design similar to the one the Milton Keynes squad first pioneered in 2022. 

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Mercedes recently abandoned their unique ‘zeropod’ concept, while Ferrari’s Spanish Grand Prix upgrade package and new-look sidepods has moved their 2023 challenger closer in design to Red Bull’s ultra competitive RB19. 

"I think our next upgrade will be without sidepods and then everyone can go back to that,” Verstappen joked when asked for his reaction to rival teams 'copying' Red Bull’s philosophy.

“I don’t know. It’s just how we designed the car, but it’s not only the sidepods. It’s a lot of things that have to come together, and I’m not even the aero specialist. 

“I think we learned a lot over the years and now with the new regulations, we hit the ground running and we understood what was going on and that helps a lot as you can immediately focus on other things. 

“Hopefully we can keep that momentum going, as everyone else is of course pushing very hard to catch up. But also from our side, we are never satisfied. We always want more.”

Verstappen stormed to his fourth pole position of the season in a wild qualifying session in Barcelona. 

The two-time world champion blew away the opposition as he ended up nearly half a second clear of home hero Carlos Sainz

Verstappen’s superiority was underlined by the fact he could afford to abort his final flying lap with no other drivers coming close to threatening his initial Q3 effort. 

“The car was really good,” the Dutchman said. “Qualifying was really tricky with the weather but once it started to dry out, and in Q3, the car was on rails. It was really enjoyable to drive today.

"I love coming to Barcelona, I love the track, I love the fans - they love racing. I have a lot of great memories here and hopefully tomorrow we can have another one."