Red Bull warns rivals: “We’ve got upgrades coming”

Adam Cooper

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan says that there is plenty more to come from them in terms of upgrades this year – and it’s not a reaction to the recent threat from McLaren.

After Max Verstappen dominated the early races RBR was beaten by Lando Norris in Miami, and only just managed to stay ahead of the McLaren driver at Imola. Sergio Perez has suggested that the team needs some major upgrades, but Monaghan insists that improvements may not always be obvious and that others are on their way.

“The visual aspect of an upgrade is not necessarily indicative of its aerodynamic performance,” he said.

“It’s not like we’ve got a car that’s off the pace where we need to experiment potentially with large changes. We have a really competitive car. I think we have a good understanding of it. We shouldn’t doubt our development process. We have upgrades coming.

“The larger the manufacturing requirement determines when we can bring it, so we’ve got upgrades coming, and it’s not something that you react to because last week we were a bit tight, and Miami, obviously, we were beaten.

“The plan is in, and we are not being lethargic in bringing the upgrades, so that when they’re ready, they’re on. Don’t worry. It’s going to be a race with several people now.”

Along with its rivals, the team has had to divert some resources into creating a special high-downforce Monaco package.

“Like all the other nine teams, we’ve made a downforce package to suit Monaco,” said Monaghan.

“Don’t forget, this will be the basis for Hungary, Singapore, anywhere else we want to run it. You incur the pain. We knew we were doing this when the calendar was out. So you plan it in, you know you’re doing a rear wing package for Monaco, and off we go.”

Monaghan says there is still some differentiation between the teams in terms of how they achieve their lap times, noting that that was evident at Imola.

“I still think there’s a little bit of a spread,” he said. “If you say there are three speed ranges of corner, low, medium, high, there’s still a little bit of scatter, but it’s a moving target, isn’t it?

“So each circuit presents us with a set of challenges. And we just have to turn up and address them better than everybody else. So if we achieve our lap time a little bit differently to our nearest opposition, that’s our choice, isn’t it?

“If you looked at Imola for example, McLaren had a different wing level from Ferrari, had a different wing level from Mercedes, as best I judge it. So, there are three different ways then of doing the lap time. If you put a bigger wing on, you accept being slightly slower on a straight, but you expect to be slightly better in the corners, and you make your trade.

“It sets your front wing demands, it will influence your ride heights. To open up how people achieve lap time then the cars can make their own choices. As we will in every circuit.”