Red Bull Racing have made the difference to Mercedes over the winter by starting from the very bottom. According to Aston Martin the difference is however due to the new rules.
Despite Red Bull Racing’s strong results during the winter test, everyone seemed to be tempering their enthusiasm a little. Often the results of the test aren’t that meaningful and the differences in performance only become apparent during the first qualifying session. At that moment it became clear that Red Bull and Max Verstappen really can compete with Mercedes.
According to Aston Martin, Red Bull’s lead is however not on the team’s own account. “When we were last racing here – four months ago – then we were on our way to a podium, on merit, before engine problems ended Checo’s race. We won’t even come close to that performance now and the direct cause of that is the new 2021 aerodynamics rules, which have been forced on all teams,” Otmar Szafnauer explained to Motorsport.com explained after qualifying.
Big difference between low and high rake cars
“If you compare the times in qualifying between the two races in Bahrain, now and four months ago, cars with a high rake philosophy seem to have become about a second per lap faster compared to cars with a low rake philosophy. Mercedes and ourselves are suffering as a result, while high rake cars like those of Red Bull, AlphaTauri, McLaren and Ferrari are not,” continued the Aston Martin team boss.
“I’m not happy. And when I say I’m not happy, I mean I’m not happy for our two great drivers. Then I’m not happy for the 500 amazing men and women who have designed, built and worked on our new car. And I’m not happy for our partners and fans. Having said that, we will of course work as hard as we can to reduce the difference in the coming races”, the team’s top man concluded.