Formula 1 moves pretty fast and if you stand still for the briefest of moments, it’ll zoom right past you leaving you in its wake. There are few elements in F1 that aren’t critical and amongst the most critical is the design of a new challenger.
Harnessing all the data during the current season and identifying areas of improvement you would like to change about the existing chassis/power unit combination is part of the equation. Adjusting those measured actions with any new technical regulations that may apply for the new season must be another part of the equation.
Sometimes those regulations can be late in arriving and in other occasions, some teams can get very creative in how they interpret those regulations and those innovations can show up in some of the final races of the current season as well as the first tests of the new season.
All of these elements—and a host of other ones—all add to a team’s strategy in designing and fabricating their new car. As you can imagine, a team that waits can gain tactical information in which to bake into their new car and then develop it throughout the season. It seems that Red Bull have done some of that waiting and serious development over the past few years.
The 2018 season doesn’t look to have a host of major technical regulation changes but having said that, burning oil in the cylinder may be one of them. Red Bull have left their design slightly later for the past few years but in fairness, it’s paid dividends on their in-season development. Now, with very few changes for 2018, Daniel Ricciardo would like to see Red Bull come out swinging instead of playing catch up.
“I’m not sure why exactly. We definitely get stronger – it’s a nice trend to get better and better but we’d like to start better.
“I still don’t really know the answer to why that is.
“We always feel like we start on next year’s car early enough but maybe what we think is early isn’t early enough.
“I know for next year it’s been brought forward more than it was for this year.”
“The idea is we learn as there are not many changes next year and what we learn hopefully from this year, hopefully we take to next year and we start stronger,” he said.
“That’s obviously the plan, that’s everyone’s wish and I guess we go from there.
“If next year’s not a very competitive season at all then, of course, that will be addressed.
“Where we are now this year, you’d think next year we should be competitive.
“Mercedes has been winning for too long. We’ll try to change that.”
No doubt having one of Formula 1’s premier designers helps but it will be interesting to see if Red Bull can be as competitive as they are today come March in Australia.
Hat Tip: Autosport