Red Bull RB20 secrets revealed after “we didn’t do an amazing job” admission

Red Bull have gone "aggressive" with their RB20 F1 car - and here's why.

The new RB20
The new RB20

Red Bull F1 technical director Peter Wache has made a remarkable claim that his team “didn’t do an amazing job” in 2023 despite enjoying an unprecedented year of success.

Red Bull won 21 of the 22 races in F1 2023 as Max Verstappen stormed to his third straight drivers’ title.

It was the most dominant season from a driver - and constructor - in F1 history, but there’s still more to come, according to Wache.

“We did a good job – but we didn't do an amazing job,” he told F1’s official website. “I think we identified multiple weaknesses in [RB]18” – and we pushed for [the RB19] to solve them. We didn't solve all of them, but fortunately the team were able to reduce the weaknesses we had and be able to deliver on track.”

In a bid to find further gains, and extend their advantage over their rivals, Red Bull have gone “aggressive” with their new challenger.

Remarkably, Red Bull appear to have gone down a route Mercedes tried in the last two years with their sidepod design.

Red Bull's RB20 F1 car
Red Bull's RB20 F1 car

The shape of the inlet is reminiscent to Mercedes’ ‘zero pod’ design, however, Red Bull have retained the sidepods to create an undercut at the front with the vertical inlet.

The similarities to Mercedes don’t stop there though with similar bulbous bodywork around the engine cover.

Red Bull have also made significant changes to the radiator area, which is smaller than ever before, and general reworking of the overall bodywork.

As explained by Wache, Red Bull are looking for a significant performance gain from these changes after the RB19 struggled with “ride” and “low-speed performance”.

“Max mentioned multiple times that our capacity on ride and kerbing and low-speed performance is not the best compared to some others. It's clearly the area where we are pushing to improve,” he added.

Verstappen the key to their success?

Even if Verstappen has enjoyed the best car in F1 over the last two seasons, his sheer consistency and relentless approach is unrivalled. 

He broke Sebastian Vettel's record for consecutive victories in 2023 - 10 in a row - and is currently on another streak heading into the new campaign.

Wache credited Verstappen for his improvement in "consistency" and the role he's played in the team's remarkable success.

“[Max has] improved in terms of consistency and maybe confidence in himself,” Wache added. “After, we also improved at the same time as him. With a driver, the main aspect is also to understand each other, to make sure that the vocabulary is clear between each other, and understand each other to make sure that we're able to deliver what he wants, and what he needs to be quick.

“He developed, he's more mature, for sure. He was young – very young – but his pace and his capacity to be quick and translate that on the track didn't change fundamentally.”

“For sure, he’s a big part of our success, because he's the most talented driver, from my point of view. But he's also able to give feedback on the car for him to be quick and analyse very well what the car behaviour is doing and how to fix it.

“The technical aspect of a driver – you know, we don't want a driver to be an engineer, we want them to be a driver, and be able to feel and translate into words what he feels, and how to make the car quicker, and he's clearly massively able to do that. I rate him very [highly]. After, he's different from Sebastian [Vettel] or some other highly talented drivers we've worked with, but he's very technical.”

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