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Red Bull taking risks with setup: 'Then they're very slow on the straight'

Red Bull taking risks with setup: 'Then they're very slow on the straight'

28-08-2021 08:25 Last update: 09:32


The second half of the season looks set to be a clash of the titans between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes, with details making all the difference. Even after Friday's race at Spa, it is clear that both teams have different expectations of Sunday, where rain is on the cards.

F1 journalist Mark Hughes notices that too, he explains at The Race. "Based on the pattern we've seen earlier this season, it seems that Mercedes have more speed on the straight than Red Bull when the wing levels are very low. It does seem that Red Bull loses very little lap time."

Red Bull taking little risk with setup

Hughes is referring to Red Bull's setup. A big change to the setup won't make a big difference to lap times. "Red Bull shows less variation than Mercedes with different wing set-ups, in lap time and straight-line speed. This is almost certainly due to the 'high-rake' concept which ensures that a greater proportion of the downforce comes from the underside."

Rain is now forecast on Sunday, but the question is whether it will fall during the race. In any case, Red Bull has taken a significant gamble with the setup and Max Verstappen's team will bale if it remains completely dry on Sunday. "Red Bull gives the front end a bit more downforce on the rear wing and Mercedes instead opts for less downforce".

Mercedes hopes for dry race, Red Bull expects rain

"That suggests that Mercedes are hoping for a dry race and that Red Bull are banking on their own strengths, tuning the car as effectively as possible, knowing that it gives flexibility if it does rain if necessary. That could make them a lot slower towards Les Combes if it stays dry," concludes Hughes.

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