Even in Red Bull’s supposed weaker track at Montecarlo, Verstappen took no prisoners. After the sixth race of the season, the Dutch champion has an astronomical average of 24 points per race.
Despite Perez’s failure to score in the principality, Red Bull already has more than double Aston Martin’s points, their closest challengers, thanks largely to the consistency of Fernando Alonso – with Mercedes and Ferrari still far away.
Technically, now we go from one extreme to the other. Monaco has done nothing but establishes the current hierarchies with an RB19 without weaknesses. Only the rain put a little pressure on Max, who was bailed out by the decision to put Alonso on the medium tyres instead of switching to the intermediates.
Obviously, it’s impossible to establish Fernando’s hypothetical out-lap on the wet tyres, but according to the data, it would have been pretty close between the Spaniard and the Dutchman.
His car has a lot of load at low speeds and seemed to make better use of the first laps. The Spaniard gave it his all, and after making one more stop, he was 19.6 seconds behind Verstappen when the time lost for the stop was estimated at around 19/20 seconds.
In the dry, a tighter fight between the top two was expected; we’ll see in Barcelona.
The Montmelò circuit has always had benchmark characteristics for the engineers, even more so now that the old fast layout has been restored.
According to estimates, the new configuration should be about 7.5 seconds faster than the previous version with the chicane. The new (old) config of the Circuit de Catalunya is a relief for the eyes and for the balance of these cars, which always drive very stiff. It will have a significant impact on the set-up, which will become more neutral than rear-limited.
Some engineers confirm that the aerodynamic configuration with which qualifying will take place is not entirely clear. Ferrari will bring both of the rear wings seen up to now, namely the scoop one and the maximum load one used in Monaco. It should also not be forgotten that the new Pirelli 2024 tires, which will make their debut at Silverstone, will be tested.
Waiting for updates from the Reds
The SF-23 will be equipped with a completely revised floor, and the changes to the bodywork will substantially reflect the fashion of the moment, so it will be something visible.
As far as the rear suspension is concerned, it appears that it will be an interesting change but one that won’t affect the geometry, also due to the budget cap.
The same Team Principal from Maranello has just admitted that the upgrades aim to get not only more downforce from the car but more consistency. Adding that “next year’s car is already in the wind tunnel. Introducing a car that is too different at this time of the season is something quite critical.”
For both Ferrari and Mercedes – here is the analysis of the new suspension – it is very clear that Barcelona will provide important data to be introduced in future discussions of the technical offices. And it will certainly determine the definitive guidelines for 2024.
Author: Giuliano Duchess
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang