6:50 – Red Bull Racing cannot keep pace with Mercedes in the 2020 Formula 1 season. Where the South Germans took major steps again last winter, Red Bull has not been able to close the gap. According to former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, it could be because the stretch is a bit of a proven concept from his former employer: the high rake.
If you look at a side view of a random Red Bull car from the past few years, you can immediately see it: the back is relatively far up from the front. It concerns the ‘high rake’ that Red Bull designer Adrian Newey traditionally likes to work with. This was characteristic of the Milton Keynes formation in Sebastian Vettel’s championship years and this philosophy has remained unchanged in the hybrid era.
This concept has brought Red Bull many successes, but now that the gap with Mercedes remains intact, during the virtual press conference the question arises whether the ceiling of that concept is perhaps in sight? After all, Mercedes is more successful with a much lower rake and Racing Point has also moved away from the Red Bull philosophy and now scores better with the Mercedes approach. “Of course I am not a specialist in that area, but the suggestion [dat de grens van de hoge rake wat in zicht is] may be quite accurate, “said Ricciardo when asked.
“In the years when Red Bull was successful with Vettel and Webber, it was all about getting that back as high as possible. Even in my time at Red Bull that was still the case and we went for it. But now you see that Mercedes is more successful with a much less rigorous approach, “the cheerful driver from Perth continues his story. “Of course I’m not 100% sure as an outsider and I’m not going to lie about that, but from the outside it certainly looks like this. So that the idea of a high rake has already peaked and people are now find ways to go faster. ”
Ricciardo sees his former race engineer as an important value for Albon
In addition to this notion of whether or not the rake will impact, Red Bull is also struggling with the balance of the 2020 creation. Partly because of those problems, Alexander Albon switched from racing engineer. Starting this weekend, he will be working with the experienced Simon Rennie, who previously assisted Ricciardo in his Red Bull period. According to the Australian, his return on the track is important for Red Bull and for Albon in particular. “First of all, a race engineer is all about trust. You really need a good relationship and I had that with Simon. But apart from that, he has a lot of experience in the field and he is very good. As for Alex and Simon I also think it is going well, although the relationship with each driver is different and mutual trust is very important, as I said. But at least that worked very well for me, “concludes the man who will drive for McLaren next year.