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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Horner: RB could offer answers about Red Bull F1 bumps weakness

Red Bull hopes sister team RB’s form can help it find the answer as to why its current Formula 1 car is suffering so much on bumps and kerbs.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

The world champion squad endured a challenging time at the Monaco Grand Prix as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez struggled to extract pace from their RB20.

Their car behaved like it was on a knife-edge at times, and it was not comfortable over the bumps and kerbs that are key to performance around the Monte Carlo lap.

The team was left further confused by the fact that the softer it ran the car to theoretically improve its ride, the worse it actually performed.

This potentially points to a suspension design that does not have enough of an operating window to cope with low speeds and bumps without it compromising the car’s ride height and ultimate downforce.

Team boss Christian Horner said that the team needed to get quick answers as to what was happening – but big clues could come from RB as it uses Red Bull’s 2023 suspension and did not encounter similar challenges around Monaco.

Asked about Red Bull’s plan to get itself back to the front, Horner said: “Quite a lot of focus will now take part on why have we had these ride issues? Why is the car struggling on the kerbs?

“The VCARB car is running with our suspension from last year and didn't seem to have the same issues. So we need to understand if it's something that we've introduced.”

Verstappen suggested that weaknesses with ride on bumpy circuits have been a Red Bull characteristic for a while, but have only been ‘found out’ by the opposition because the field had got closer.

Horner suggested that the team did not have an answer right now as to what the cause of the problem was – so it was hard to predict when a solution could be in place.

“First of all it's understanding what the issue is,” he said. “So once we've done that, then you can look at what the relevant fix is.” 

He added: “We saw it in Singapore last year as well. So we've had another example of that. We know it's an area of the car we need to work on.

“We’ve got some lessons to take out of this weekend and some issues that we need to address with a car obviously.”

However, there is time pressure on Red Bull to get some solutions in place because the next race in Canada is another venue where kerb riding is critical to a good lap time.

“It's a track that we've performed well at previously,” he said. “They've resurfaced the whole circuit again, so let's see. But Ferrari and McLaren, they're quick.

“It was always going to happen that there was going to be convergence. Of course, this has been a tough weekend, but we're still leading both championships. Obviously, we'll look to take the lessons out of this weekend and apply to the next one.”

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