Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024 pre-season test

RB “look very, very quick” after taking more Red Bull parts – Albon

Formula 1

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Alexander Albon believes Red Bull’s second F1 team has improved its performance now it is using more parts supplied by the world champions.

The team now known as RB decided last year to bring its car design philosophy closer to that of Red Bull. The new RB 01 has more similarities with last year’s dominant RB19.

“They’ve made a step,” Albon told the official F1 channel, pausing as he weighed his words. “I think they’ve definitely… gathered some parts.

“They look very, very, very quick. So I think they’ve made a big step, which is just the way it is. But we’re there. We’re not far away, I don’t think.”

Albon’s Williams team battled with RB – previously known as AlphaTauri – for the minor points through the 2023 season. Williams narrowly beat the second Red Bull team to seventh in last year’s constructors’ championship.

Williams have also made significant changes to their car’s design during the off-season, which Albon believes has paid off.

“I think we will have a bit more of a – I don’t want to say ‘normal’ racing car – but I think our balance windows and our speed will very much merge to the kind of the norm in the grid,” he explained.

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“I still think, that being said, Monza and tracks like that will be good for us. But we should be much better at tracks like here [Bahrain] or whatever. Time will tell. I’ve only done 40 laps, so not that exciting.”

With team principal James Vowles admitting Williams have taken risks with an aggressive design for their new car, Albon says he can feel the difference to last year’s car.

“Kinematically, the feeling of the front of the car is totally different,” he said.

“It’s totally new, totally redesigned. So the feedback you get in your hands is totally different. We’ve got a Mercedes rear end in the car now, so that’s very different, we’ve got a totally different balance set-up philosophy. So there’s loads of things going on and it all feels like it’s going in the right direction.

“But it’s strange – I’ve spent two years now developing, or driving, a car that has certain characteristics, unique characteristics. And now that kind of all goes in the bin and I’m learning again.”

So major are the changes, Albon says, that it almost feels to him like he’s racing for a different team to last season.

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“Yes, regulations can change and whatnot – the cars can have more downforce or little subtleties – but they always carry a DNA, a very strong DNA,” he said.

“You only really feel like that changes when you change team – that’s, at least, the way it felt for me. This feels like I’ve changed team, but I’m actually obviously still at Williams.”

With Logan Sargeant at the wheel throughout today’s running, Albon will return to the FW46 for the final day of testing tomorrow. Observing the test so far, Albon says the two teams who ended last year on top look the most impressive so far.

“It seems like the Red Bulls and the Ferraris, they’re not really affected by wind it looks like,” Albon said during television coverage of Thursday’s test. “They just seem to turn when they want to turn and they have rear grip where everyone else is struggling.

“I don’t want to disappoint or bore any viewers, but they look quick.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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26 comments on “RB “look very, very quick” after taking more Red Bull parts – Albon”

  1. Hm, more teams getting ready to push against Red Bull owning two teams then (probably in the runup to the new commercial deal between the teams, the FIA and FOM)

    1. Coventry Climax
      22nd February 2024, 16:06

      Where does he say anything in that direction? I didn’t read that.
      Or do you refer to him saying that RB2 seems to have ‘gathered some parts’?
      All teams ‘gather’ parts these days, he even practically says their Williams is actually a Mercedes as far as the rear is concerned.

      1. Williams and Aston Martin both buy significant amounts of parts from Mercedes, Aston Martin also used Mercedes’ wind tunnel. Haas buy every thing possible from Ferrari, have done since the beginning.

        This is a case of double standards, it is alright for other teams to do what is permissible in the rules, but it is unacceptable for Racing Bulls and Red Bull to do the same, despite maintaining far more independence than the rules allowed for most of their existence.

        1. Sister teams and customer teams are two different things. It’s not just due to parts but with the cost cap and wind tunnel time as well. Regardless, it shows the rules are not currently fit for purpose.

          1. Cost cap and wind tunnel allowance aren’t transferrable. You are literally inventing conspiracy theory rubbish.
            Customer teams could be used to abuse the wind tunnel rules just as easy.

            Basically you (like Brown) are inventing a way they could cheat, then accusing Red Bull & Racing Bulls without them ever having done so.

          2. Cause cheating doesn’t exist in F1… I’m not saying they are cheating but there is a potential for conflict in those areas and it is naive of yourself to think that a F1 team isn’t looking at everyway possible to gain an advantage.

        2. That’s not the same, they’re operating out the same HQ. That’s not the same with any other team.

          Plus, RedBull are not a clean team, see the overspend, the way they treat their competitors (always someone else’s fault) and the way they manage their drivers. They’re dirty AF and if there’s an unfair advantage to be gained they’ll be all over it. Even before “The Incident”, Horner was already the most slippery and sleazy on the grid. He’s like Flavio Mk. II.

          1. If you read the Haas F1 team website they clearly state that as a “Ferrari powered team our Italian offices are located at Maranello”. They’ve had a facility at Maranello for a number of years now.


          2. They’re not ‘operating out of the same HQ”, Racing Bull’s HQ is still Faenza.

            They operate a satellite Aero facility in the UK, originally in Bicester but moving to newer building in Milton Keynes.

            As Mr B states, Haas quite literally do operate facilities within Ferrari’s Maranello base.

            They are doing nothing other teams haven’t already being doing for years.

    2. Even if Red Bull didn’t own the second team they are still legally entitled by the F1 regulations to sell them all parts VCARB have currently taken.

      1. just because something is legal, its not morally right

        1. Morals are subjective, that’s why the F1 rule book is so thick! These are rules agreed by the teams.
          RB do exactly the same as other teams.
          Perhaps a way around this is to make it that any team can choose to buy those parts not just a team associated with the bigger team.

      2. But they do own that second ‘team’. They even pick the drivers.

    3. Williams is also taking more parts than ever from Mercedes this year, but that’s okay because reasons.

      1. @sjaakfoo I don’t think changing the name to ‘RB’ helps. Imagine if ‘Williams’ became ‘Merc.’ I always thought Alpha Tauri was the coolest name on the grid.

      2. Mercedes doesn’t own Williams and has very little influence over how it conducts its business.

        Now there’s definitely a longer running issue with the kind of political power engine suppliers have over their customers in terms of voting on F1 issues, but that’s a separate matter and doesn’t affect the day to day. And when it does, like when Wolff demanded Ocon (at Force India) move aside for a Mercedes, it became quite the scandal.

        Red Bull isn’t so much owning two teams as it is running four cars. It picks the drivers for all cars. It’s one team principal comments on behalf of issues pertaining to both “teams”, and so on.

    4. It does seem more of an issue now than 19/20 when Alex was driving for Red Bull, and AlphaTauri were at their most competitive. Political manoeuvring as you suggest, or just reaction that’s 4 years more hyped and shouty? Either way, there are some carefully-chosen words in these interviews! (plus whatever the hell “kinematically” means…)

  2. Coventry Climax
    22nd February 2024, 16:00

    Let’s call these guys RB1 and RB2, just RB is way confusing, to the extent that even Will Wood messes up things:

    Albon will return to the FW46 for today final day of testing tomorrow

    1. I don’t see what’s wrong, this year’s williams is called fw46.

    2. Ahh, you mean the today\tomorrow.

      1. But writing “today final day” instead of “the final day” has absolutely nothing to do with what the junior Red Bull team is called.

        There are many instances on this site of when a proof reader would have been useful. This is just one of those.

  3. The more i see it, the more i love that RB livery

    1. It’s a classic single-seater livery that has worked hundreds of times before. I believe it to be the best one in the field this year. I don’t get how people fail to appreciate it.

    2. I like it too. I voted it for the livery of the year.
      I don’t know why I like it, maybe because it reminds me the Williams Renault ,early 90′ , with the blue nose the white wings and the red “CANNON” on them.

  4. Sadly most of the sites do not show which tyre was used to set he laptimes during the tests. According to what I have found: everyone used the C3, apart from Ricciardo, Sainz, Sargeant. The three of them used the softer C4.

    Considering that Alfa Tauri on their better days qualified into the top10, and tyre advantage was there too, and buying some parts from such a dominant car like the Red Bull, it is not a true shocker. There are many legally transferable parts of the car design by now. Also Alfa Tauri tried to diverge from the direction of getting all allowed parts from Red Bull in the recent seasons, but it have not worked for them, their cars were far from their own bests. Now after mentioning that they will use more Red Bull parts, what is not a bad idea by now. But obviously makes their opponents to do politicking against them, at least verbally. If I would be Albon, Norris and Piastri, I would talk on the behalf of the engine supplier too, as maybe there would be not just one seat available at Mercedes next season (or a not much after that, or at least signing upwards in the boundaries of the Mercedes supplied teams, like from Williams to fill the seat of the possibly snatched LN or OP). Although I am a bit sad that these nice young talents were fed on promises for quite long. Who can be sure that this latter not goes on even longer? On the other hand: mimicking the desired behavior comes for free.

  5. Interesting how a little side comment from Albon turned into the focus of the article.

    the feedback you get in your hands is totally different

    It’s amazing what a screen can do.

    Will be interesting to see the order come qually and the race. RB and Williams looking better, I can’t believe there’s only a week to go!

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