Adrian Newey’s insight into Red Bull’s Japan upgrades and “more extreme” RB20

Adrian Newey details how effective Red Bull's upgrade package in Japan was.

Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix,
Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer. Formula 1…

Adrian Newey believes Red Bull’s upgrade package for the Japanese Grand Prix was a “small step forward” in performance - but thinks they’d probably have won at Suzuka without them.

Red Bull claimed their third 1-2 finish of the year with Max Verstappen winning ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

Carlos Sainz was the closest non-Red Bull car in third, finishing over 20 seconds off the lead.

It continues Red Bull’s ridiculous run of form, stretching back to the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Since then, Red Bull have failed to win just two races - Singapore 2023 and Australia 2024 - in an unprecedented period of dominance.

Speaking to Ted Kravitz at Suzuka, Newey - who is Red Bull’s design guru - gave some insight into Red Bull’s latest upgrades.

“Well we know what performance it theoretically gave,” Newey said. “As far as we can see from the pressure sensors and load cells then it delivered what it said on the tin from the wind tunnel.

“It was a small step forward. I think this weekend we’d probably have been OK anyway. We all know it’s going to tighten up so we just keep pushing.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship,…

After a dominant 2023 campaign, many expected Red Bull to produce a similar looking car.

However, they shocked everyone during launch season by unveiling a more aggressive car - a path their rivals haven’t gone down.

Newey feels that the RB20 is a “more extreme version” of the 2022 car which was introduced at the start of the current technical regulations.

“It’s a credit to all the guys back at the factory honestly. We have got a tremendous team of engineers. That spreads to the whole organisation. Their enthusiasm, drive and creativity is what you see here before you. The architecture of the car has stayed very similar, a third generation since 2022. 

“The aero principals which you now see on this year’s car compared to last year is a route we were taking really since early 2022. It’s just a more extreme version or route down that same path.”

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