Red Bull: Verstappen driving style makes RB19 faster

Jaden Diaz
7 Sep, 2023

Verstappen is dominating Formula 1 with the Red Bull RB19, securing twelve race wins from fourteen races. According to Red Bull’s technical director, Pierre Wache, the Dutchman’s driving style and feedback have been essential for team success.

The excellence of Adrian Newey and James Allison is often discussed in F1 circles. Both engineers have played integral roles in the achievements of Red Bull and Mercedes, respectively.

However, a less clear – though equally contested – subject is how extensively a driver’s influence can determine performance.

Accurate feedback and technical expertise are always positive attributes for a driver. Still, the extent to which this impacts a team’s development path is far less documented.

Ferrari, for example, has seen both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz criticise their cars handling over the last eighteen months.

Sainz

In an interview with GPFans, Red Bull technical director Pierre Wache outlines the role Max Verstappen played in the RB19’s construction:

“Max wants a car that is very responsive. It is very unique, in the sense that he wants a lot of front axle – compared to others we have worked with in the past.

“It is very difficult to find performance in the rear of the car. It’s a bit easier to find performance in the front of the car. 

“Thus, he opens the door for us to make the car faster.

“Because he has the car faster because he has the capacity, and also the preference, to have a very sensitive front end.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19.
02.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Qualifying Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

This analysis seems congruent with the behaviours shown by the RB19 throughout the season.

Sergio Perez has also discussed the hyper-sensitive nature of the Red Bull front end in recent months. To some degree, this characteristic is responsible for the Mexican’s struggles in performance.

In any case, these comments underline the synergy between Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Such a combination is difficult to defeat, as evidenced by the 2023 campaign.

Most teams have diverged to pursue the Austrian team’s philosophy, further evidencing the strength of the 25-year-old’s relationship with his engineers.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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