Simulator secrets spilled about sensational Red Bull RB20’s gains

"‘How did you do that?’ That is the question. Where did those ideas come from?"

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 on the grid. Formula 1 World…

The Red Bull RB20 was already showing proof last year in the simulator that it would be even quicker than 2023’s car.

Red Bull have obliterated their competition in the first two grands prix of this year, with Max Verstappen winning both and Sergio Perez finishing second in both.

Liam Lawson, the Red Bull junior who impressed for sister team AlphaTauri last year, has shared the secrets which he discovered about the RB20.

“I was pretty aware that it’d be competitive,” he told the Sky F1 podcast.

“There is always talk and hype over the offseason about teams coming closer.

“Everyone is developing but, at the end of the day, when everyone catches up, Red Bull are developing and moving away at the same time.

“Last year, when we did some of the development for the car, I did time in the simulator. I knew the performance gains that were coming.

“I knew the car was already winning at that point. If you’re finding time in the sim for next year’s car you know it will be even quicker.

“It was a pretty good indicator that it would be good. But honestly, not this good!”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 celebrates in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 celebrates in parc…

Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz is in awe of the RB20.

“I didn’t get to see prolonged shots on TV, my job keeps me in the pitlane,” he said. “I saw it in testing on TV monitors.

“Even on a not-very-good TV to study what they were doing, the whole package of the RB20 makes more sense to me now.

“I focused on the vertical inlets and the F18 Concorde-style air intakes under the crash structure.

“The more it makes sense. But it’s a red herring. Yes, they are cool.

“But it’s all just to make the mother and father of all undercuts underneath that sidepod, and on top of the floor.

“I’d love to see the bottom of the floor. Hopefully for Max and Checo’s sake they don’t have a crash so we don’t get pictures.

“It must have been an area of huge development, as well.

“The more you look at the RB20, the more it makes sense.”

Confidence in their extraordinary car means Verstappen and Perez are able to deliver their best drives, as a result.

Kravitz said: “That stable and efficient aero platform leads to more optimised tyre wear. Max said it is really good on tyre wear.

“It is a car for all tracks, all conditions.”

The RB20 initially shocked onlookers at its unveiling after apparently following a different concept to last year’s car, which dominated the F1 championship.

Kravitz said: “It is such a good car. I am waiting to sit down with Adrian Newey, Ben Waterhouse, Pierre Wache to say ‘how did you do that?’

“That is the question. Where did those ideas come from?

“Was it just to get the huge undercut? Moving the cooling and sidepod entry was just to allow for that.

“‘I want this massive undercut where I can basically put my suitcase in it, because it’s so big!’

“How are we going to do that? You can’t put the sidepods there, the cooling there… so let’s move that.

“A hugely impressive car.”

Read More