Red Bull’s set-up and package choice in Austria was “not correct” – Verstappen

2022 French Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says Red Bull realised they hadn’t got the best out of their package in the Austrian Grand Prix after their defeat to Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc won the last round at the Red Bull Ring, passing Verstappen early in the race and keeping his rival in check by running longer stints on his tyres.

Verstappen said the team’s post-race analysis revealed they could have prepared their RB18 better for the race.

“I think it was not only tyres-related,” said the championship leader. “Also the way we set up the car – not purely from set-up, also the package of the car – I think was not correct in Austria, which we found out.

“So I hope with the things we learned that in general I think we will be more competitive.”

As the last event was a sprint race weekend, teams only had a single hour of practice to dial their cars in before committing to their set-ups.

“It’s not ideal,” Verstappen acknowledged. “It’s quite hectic that weekend. We found out towards the end of the weekend that it was clearly not what we expected from the car.”

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Leclerc’s win allowed him to cut into Verstappen’s championship lead. Ferrari “were maybe a little bit stronger than we expected” in Austria, he admitted.

Sebastian Vettel, 1922 Aston Martin 'Green Pea', Paul Ricard, 2022
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“But I think we were definitely below what we expected. And it’s always difficult to fight them because on a good day we have a good battle on our hands and we didn’t have a good day.

“So we have to just get back to at least normal. But I think of course in general we always want to improve, which we hope to show this weekend.”

Despite his points advantage and Red Bull’s lead in the constructors championship, Verstappen believes the team have largely trailled Ferrari on performance this year.

“So far there’s never really been like a dominant weekend for us,” he said. “In general I felt like in the beginning of the year we were the ones chasing and then trying to beat Ferrari. Then of course, they had a few retirements we took advantage of that, or through strategy calls.

“So I think overall we for my feeling, it’s still a bit of chasing. And the weight of the car, I mean, we’re still overweight, which is costing us a lap time as well.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Red Bull’s set-up and package choice in Austria was “not correct” – Verstappen”

  1. Ferrari quickest car, but poorer reliability and poor / unlucky strategy calls.

    With Merc joining the fight this weekend, Max should cherish his lead and just bag double digit points each weekend.

    I think Merc will be quickest car after summer break, their development pace is so strong; and the car seems to have more untapped potential.

    1. I don’t understand all these poorer reliability comments! If you go check all season mechanical problems red bull and ferrari are pretty similar, I guess if red bull has a mechanical problem next it will change the narrative again!

      It’s interesting with merc getting into the mix, their conservative approach to points scoring might still have been a good idea on the face of it.

    2. Highly doubt Merc will be fastest after summer break. 0.2-0.3 sec/lap slower on average than RB/Ferrari means 12-18 sec gap in a 60 lap race. That’s an eternity in F1.

      Besides, it’s not like McLaren in 2009 when Brawn didn’t have the budget and RB we still new-ish to the scene (only 4 years in F1 that time).

      Now RB are a whole lot experienced and are also mightly in car development themselves. Even Ferrari has improved in this department (it’s just that they had a subpar driver – Vettel – driving for them before).

  2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    22nd July 2022, 9:25

    In hindsight had we put on 4 wheels we could of definitely gone quicker.

    I think most teams have the same sentiment after the event they could of done something different. This is generally what separates the teams with the tiny margins that get the job done.

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