Red Bull explain Max Verstappen’s ‘secret’ Imola test with 2022 F1 car

Max Verstappen tested a two-year-old Red Bull F1 car on Wednesday at Imola.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Red Bull have explained why Max Verstappen recently tested a two-year-old F1 car at Imola.

Reigning world champion Verstappen got behind the wheel of Red Bull’s championship-winning RB18 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix venue on Wednesday.

The private test took place between the Canadian Grand Prix and this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix - with the focus on helping Red Bull to understand how to cure their recent kerb-riding issues.

Red Bull endured their worst weekend of the season in Monaco and the RB20 also struggled with ride over the kerbs in Montreal, though Verstappen was able to return to winning ways.

"We really tried to give Max a reference from a previous car,” Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan told media including in Barcelona.

“When you're trying to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a current car, his reference is the current car, and it's 'in previous years, we've had this, we've had that’.

“Have we really? Because we haven't run them at the same time. So in taking that car out, we tried to give Max a reference to judge it from and he's been able to give us feedback from that.”

Monaghan added: “That feedback won't change as such, we just give him a different reference.

“The strengths and weaknesses of the cars or how we perceive it, we can obviously judge relative to our opposition. But we blend that with his comments, Checo’s comments, and we say, 'OK, are we good? Are we bad?’

“We look in the data, see if it's valid to say we're better or worse than some people, what's his perception, why is he saying it? And then what on earth do we do about it?”

Asked how high up Red Bull’s priority list the kerb-riding weakness is, Monaghan replied: “We intend to try and address any kind of performance deficit in the car. We don’t do one indifference to another.

“You see the bodywork, you don’t see what we bury inside it, if we keep it far enough away from prying eyes. That’s an ongoing development and we will chip away in whatever magnitude we can realistically race-by-race.

“This place might not be so bad for us. Hungary has a few. Austria has some kerbs we’ve always enjoyed. So again, we’re not resting.

“We just have to have a car that rides adequately to get us around the lap. If we’re quickest, okay, doesn’t mean we will stop and we will see if we can make more.”

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