Red Bull technical director Pierre Wache believes efficiency has been the biggest strength of team’s RB19 car as the reigning constructors’ champions chase a 100th win in Sunday’s 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.
So far in 2023, Red Bull have been a class apart, winning the first seven races with ease, ensuring commanding leads in the drivers and constructors championships.
In the 2023 Spanish GP, Red Bull dominated proceedings, with Max Verstappen topping every session and leading every lap in the race to take his fifth win of the F1 season.
“Efficiency,” Wache told the media, when asked what was the RB19’s greatest strength. “On different tracks, we can produce downforce without massive [amounts of] drag.
“I think when you make a car, you try to make it as quick as possible, and after the success depends not only on your new [car] but also the others.
“The difference is bigger than what we expected.”
Red Bull pace management during race
The return to Europe have seen several teams bring substantial upgrade packages from Mid-May’s Monaco Grand Prix, with Mercedes abandoning their ‘no’ sidepods for a more conventional car concept.
Ferrari’s upgrades, including Red Bull-style sidepods, did help Carlos Sainz qualify second in June’s Spanish GP before falling back in the race, finishing fifth over 45 seconds behind race winner Verstappen.
“You’ll see in Qualifying they were closer in pure performance,” said Wache. “In Qualifying, for sure, we are pushing.
“[But] during the race [like] everybody, we are saving the tyre to increase the stint length or give [the drivers] more choice in strategy. In terms of pace management during the race, we have some advantages.
“You’ll see some updates coming from our competitors here for sure [and] it will be closer.”
Work to do for Sergio Perez
Whilst Verstappen dominated the Monaco and Spanish GPs, his teammate Sergio Perez had a torrid pair of weekends, losing him further ground in the championship race.
Perez’s drive to 16th in Monte Carlo after a crash in Q1 was the nadir of his season, with Verstappen‘s victory which gave him a 53-point cushion in the championship race, adding further insult to injury.
“Every weekend, you’re chasing between driver control and overall performance of the car,” said Wache. “With the number of sessions we had with difficult conditions. It was difficult for him.
“I think during the race, he showed that he was able to achieve something interesting. But, when you are not comfortable with [the] car, for Qualifying [it] was more difficult.
“[He] didn’t find [a set-up he was] comfortable with during FP3. It’s something we have to work on with him.”