Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2023

Red Bull still has ‘big area we can improve’ with 2024 car – Verstappen

Formula 1

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Red Bull may have dominated the 2023 Formula 1 season but Max Verstappen is convinced they can make significant improvements to this year’s car.

The team head into this weekend’s season finale at Yas Marina having won 20 of the previous 21 races. But Verstappen, who has taken 18 of those victories, says “of course there are” areas the team can improve its RB19.

“Look at our race weekend in Singapore,” said Verstappen, referring to Red Bull’s only defeat of the season so far, where both he and team mate Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3.

“In general on street circuits I think we are a struggling a bit more, like in Vegas also,” he continued. “So low speed [performance] is definitely not our strongest point in the car. Bumps and kerbs as well. So that’s definitely a big area where we can improve.”

Some of Red Bull’s rivals have made significant gains this year, notably Ferrari and McLaren. Red Bull spent much of 2023 operating within a tight restriction on their aerodynamic development, partly under the rules as a result of their 2022 championship win, and partly as a punishment for exceeding F1’s cost cap in 2021.

New podium, Yas Marina, 2023
Gallery: First pictures from the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Verstappen said “it’s difficult to tell” how much progress their rivals will have to make in order to get on terms with them next year. “But of course we are also working on our car to try and make it better.

“I think we know our weaknesses as well in the car and that’s what we will try to work on plus of course trying to make our strengths of course even stronger.”

If he concludes his season with another win this weekend, Verstappen will overtake Sebastian Vettel as the third most successful F1 driver of all time in terms of total victories.

“It’s quite a crazy number,” Verstappen admitted. “But we’ve had a crazy, crazy year.

“It would of course be very nice but at the same time also I’m very focused on what’s ahead of me and hopefully also next year we have a competitive car again, we can really continue that momentum that we can win more races.”

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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...

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13 comments on “Red Bull still has ‘big area we can improve’ with 2024 car – Verstappen”

  1. It’s gonna be hard to replicate 2023. In Singapore Verstappen wasn’t that far behind on race pace, had he started from a higher grid position he would’ve had a shot a victory or at the very least at a podium spot.

    1. That’s true, and he could’ve done a bit better in quali, but probably not top 6 material and at a track like singapore that hurts your winning chances. Crazy to think that’s likely the only time they didn’t win this year.

  2. You can’t have a car with the best straight line speed, the best high speed corner speeds, medium speed corner speeds and low speed corner speeds. Somewhere, you have to compromise to find the best balance over an entire race circuit / season, and I don’t think Red Bull could have done it any better. They sacrificed low corner speed for standing out in the other areas. Not to mention that their Red Bull had bulletproof reliability and excellent tyre management as well.

    So, I’d have to disagree with Max. I don’t think there’s a lot of scope for improvement on their 2024 car.

    1. Looking at what Perez got out of the package, I would tend to agree with him that there is room for improvement. Perez never lived up to Bottas level back in the days when Mercedes was untouchable for 8 to 9 straight years.

      1. Perez doesn’t look capable of extracting performance from any top tier machine. You cannot judge the Red Bull by its most underperfoming human asset.

    2. @todfod I think you can have the best in every part of the car. You just can’t have it all in perfection, because some parts indeed compromise others. But there still is room to improve for sure. Unfortunately.

      1. Coventry Climax
        24th November 2023, 18:01

        Why ‘Unfortunately’?
        Ever since the inception of F1, it’s been about improving the cars. Unfortunately, the FiA is hampering that more and more, with caps on almost everything, an ever growing rulebook of restrictions and hidden BoP by means of development and windtunnel time. F1’s gone from the pinnacle of motorsports to the pinnacle of conservatism and restrictive rules and is also striving to become the pinnacle of show.
        That is my definition of ‘unfortunate’. To the point where I don’t give a hoot anymore, after having been a fervent fan for over 50 years.

    3. Coventry Climax
      24th November 2023, 18:30

      Oh, but I think it is possible to improve. It always is.
      You’re right about having to make compromises between topspeed and speeds through all types of corners, but those compromises are created largely through setups . Which means that you can improve a car by having more and wider setup options, as well as having them respond more predictable. Then there’s things like heat dissipation, brakes, clutch, torque/diff etc., and optimising tyre usage. All things that Ferrari and Mercedes have visibly struggled with all year, but that’s not to say the Red Bull car is already perfect at that. Last but not least: weight. Being able to carry ballast where you want it, be able to distribute and/or move it around, and many more. Oh, there’s room for improvement alright.

    4. No offense intended, but hey, you sound like those guys who two centuries ago used to say that people would never fly.

      Red Bull Racing can improve their car. And they will.

      And of course the opposition will also improve. At present RBR have a marginal advantage over the rest. Way below the kind of advantage the Tipo 500, the Sharknose or the W05 which were really dominant, much more so than the famed MP4/4.

      Whether RBR will keep this modest advantage, will enlarge it or will fall behind some other team which makes a monster development, we do not know yet. But improve they will. For sure.

    5. That’s a rather immature take.

      You can always improve more in some areas relative to this year while still substantially improving elsewhere. Regs might have lots of untapped potential.

  3. The best thing they can do to improve with the 2024 car is to put someone better than Perez in the second car. The second car would then pick up more points and motivate Max more than any extra tenth here and there compared to this year’s car.

    It sounds brutal but it would probably be true!

    1. Coventry Climax
      24th November 2023, 18:05

      Except it’s probably true what Verstappen has said about not needing any external incentive.

      What you say is true about what Red Bull would/could achieve as a team, but I doubt it would make any difference to Verstappen.

    2. Pipe dream, I’d love to watch Fernando there.

      On the other hand it would be fun to get Sir there and watch Checo retrospectively looking good in contrast. Without the oh-so-tired rocketship excuse (to no avail anyway, the brigade would say that the cars are different or whatever)

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