Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2023

Ferrari making gains to Red Bull’s “mega-big DRS effect” – Vasseur

2023 F1 season

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Ferrari believe they have made inroads into the straight-line speed advantage Red Bull gains from the configuration of their Drag Reduction System since last year.

The reigning world champions made a dominant start to the new season, winning all three rounds from pole position. The straight-line speed of their RB19 is one of its key strengths, particularly when its drivers are able to use DRS.

The Red Bull drivers comfortably headed the speed trap figures in qualifying at the last two races. Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur acknowledged their rival’s car produces a “mega-big DRS effect, bigger than everybody else.”

“We have to understand how they are able to do something like this,” he added. However he believes Red Bull’s advantage in this area is not as great as it was last year.

“I think we compensated part of the gap,” he said. “It was probably even more obvious last year. We compensated part of the gap but we need to do improve on this area.”

Vasseur admitted Ferrari had expected to make greater gains in this area of Red Bull’s superiority during the off-season.

“The difference was probably bigger last year but perhaps we were expecting to compensate a bit more,” he said. “Now for sure we have room for improvement on this area, but they are doing something different and they are doing something better for sure. But we are on it.”

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Qualifying speed trap top three

Bahrain Grand Prix

PositionNumberDriverCarEngineModelMax kph (mph)
155Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariFerrariSF-23326.6 (202.9)
211Sergio PerezRed BullRed BullRB19325.7 (202.4)
316Charles LeclercFerrariFerrariSF-23325.2 (202.1)

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

PositionNumberDriverCarEngineModelMax kph (mph)
111Sergio PerezRed BullRed BullRB19337.8 (209.9)
21Max VerstappenRed BullRed BullRB19337.5 (209.7)
324Zhou GuanyuAlfa RomeoFerrariC43335.8 (208.7)

Australian Grand Prix

PositionNumberDriverCarEngineModelMax kph (mph)
11Max VerstappenRed BullRed BullRB19328.8 (204.3)
211Sergio PerezRed BullRed BullRB19326.7 (203.0)
323Alexander AlbonWilliamsMercedesFW45325.6 (202.3)

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Author information

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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7 comments on “Ferrari making gains to Red Bull’s “mega-big DRS effect” – Vasseur”

  1. If you have believe Lewis this year the DRS of the RB is much stronger.

  2. F1 analysis showed that the percentual gain of the DRS was as big for Haas as it was for RB.

    Other teams just have to get better.

  3. The F1-75 was draggy but was slightly better than the RB18 in medium and high speed corner but was mighty in slow corners before the TD039 was introduced and this is according to the telemetry analysis. The SF-23 improved on the straights but lost in all the other departments.

    The RB19 on the other hand kept more or less the same advantage on the straights but become the class of the field in all the other areas and its super quick in traction zones. Aston Martin was the only team that is on par with RBR out of the slow corners.

    The latest design drawings made by Giorgio Piola compare both the RB18 and RB19 front suspension from the side. The entire geometry of the suspension which was working just fine was revised and the suspension elements were more inclined towards the front. This modification enables for an anti-dive effect under braking, i.e more stability and directionality. Also the wheelbase of the car was stretched as a result.

    Piola was baffled by this modification and according to him this is where Newey is earning his money. He took a risk by modifying an element that works fine in order to extract more performance. He compared this to the Ferrari front suspension, which btw he has been complaining about since last year, which was only modified on the SF-23 after it become obvious that it is causing problems.

    He said that in Ferrari when something is working, they don’t touch it out of fear of screwing it up. I hope Vasseur is aware of this issues and focus more on resolving it instead of making useless comparisons with RBR.

    1. @tifoso1989 Very well written thank you!

      1. @macleod
        Thanks for your comment !

  4. Vasseur seems to enjoy talking about Red Bull lately. Maybe they should hire him?

  5. They gotta be stalling the floor when DRS activates, a slot gap is a slot gap, right? No performance gain on that. I can’t think of another way to get such a significant gain.

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