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Red Bull on the edge: 'Little window to play with the downforce'

Red Bull on the edge: 'Little window to play with the downforce'

04-12-2021 11:20 Last update: 12:37


The Friday before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix looked good for Mercedes. The team was faster than the Red Bulls, but that had everything to do with the balance of the car. According to Peter Windsor, Red Bull Racing still has some extra homework to do when it comes to tyre temperatures.

Max Verstappen looked good on the hard tyre, but on the soft tyre things still didn't run smoothly. "Red Bull were trying to work out why the red tyre wasn’t giving him the improvement that it should have, and Max spent a lot of the day, particularly into the afternoon, talking about balancing the tyre temperatures front to rear and doing a lot of slow laps. Just trying to find that sweet spot of temperature," Windsor begins in his analysis on YouTube.

"They even got to the point where they compromised some of their full tank running towards the end of the day in order to get that balance right. If anything, I think that just shows that they’re right on the edge of downforce versus top speed, and they’ve got a very little window in which to play in terms of putting on a bit more downforce and getting the balance right."

Not jumping to conclusions yet

Mercedes does have extra downforce right now. "That seems to be in the pattern over the last few races, but particularly when they’ve got top speed to play with, to give away. That’s something that’s helping them get the tyre balance right. Again, Mercedes looking very, very good", Windsor believes.

Mercedes were a lot faster with a full tank in the first practice sessions at the Jeddah circuit. According to Windsor, Red Bull has not been able to drive much with a full tank, so who knows, there might be more in it for Verstappen today. "By comparison, Max did unusually for Max, because normally Red Bull are very diligent here, but he only got in effectively for reasonably quick laps. Red Bull and Max don’t seem to have done anything like the same amount of homework and running in that area, so we shouldn’t read too much into that at the moment."

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