Red Bull have set out the summer grands prix at which they look set to bring their most significant updates to the RB18.
This season, with all-new cars to comply with the fresh set of regulations, has widely been described as one that will boil down to a development race as teams strive to improve from the base they set at unofficial testing in February.
In contrast to their 2021 arch-rivals Mercedes, Red Bull have mastered the rules very well having won five of the first seven grands prix – four victories going to Max Verstappen, the reigning Drivers’ World Champion, and the latest one to his team-mate, Sergio Perez.
But there is absolutely no room for complacency because Ferrari are right in the fight too, Charles Leclerc doubtless thinking he should have won the last two races having been in charge of both until things beyond his control went awry.
Therefore, upgrades will continue to be important, especially against the backdrop of the $140million budget cap that means each improvement has to be planned carefully with cost in mind.
Red Bull’s chief engineer, Paul Monaghan, has given an insight into how the team are laying out their development programme ahead of round eight of the campaign, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“At the moment, I would say we are quite happy with our work as we are doing it, and I think Baku will get everyone going in a particular direction,” said Monaghan, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I think Silverstone could make a bit of a difference to us and at Spielberg it will be a bit of the same.
“In Hungary, I expect there will be a change again, but that’s the nature of the track and how we exploit our lap time best.
“At the moment, I’d say our work is reasonably good, but when we get to Abu Dhabi we might have got it right or wrong.”
In terms of specifics, Monaghan mentioned brake cooling.
“I guess if you look ahead to Hungary or Singapore, possibly we will take parts to those particular races, and then…where else might we need more brake cooling? Probably in Spielberg and Baku we will have a slightly different set-up,” he explained.
Another factor in the equation, of course, is the respective strengths of Red Bull and Ferrari against the other and how any weaknesses can be ironed out.
“They [Ferrari] tend to be quite strong at low speed and we do it in other areas of the circuit,” added Monaghan.
“There’s a big visual difference if you look from time to time at how we have achieved our lap time and they have achieved theirs.
“Are they stuck in that pattern? I don’t know. Are we stuck in ours? No, not at all. We are open to change and if you stand still in this sport, you can often get left behind.”
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