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Stella: First sight of Red Bull RB20 F1 car made me go “wow”

The Italian also acknowledged that the Milton Keynes team was “brave” in making such a big change to a package that was so dominant last year.

Red Bull’s substantial step for this season has caught rivals by surprise after most of them focussed on trying to work out what made last year’s RB19 so competitive, and inevitably ended up with cars that owe much to the title winner. Red Bull itself has now gone in a different direction.

“I have to say when I saw the car, I was like, ‘Wow, they certainly were brave in changing some of the shapes that made that car so successful last year,’” said Stella.

“I think they could enjoy such an advantage last year that it gave them confidence from a timeline point of view to take some risks, because you can take these risks early on to actually see whether it works.

“What I would say, though, is that while there is innovation, that we can see macroscopically, like I’ve said already, in these regulations a lot is in millimetres. And a lot happens in work we don’t see between the underneath of the car and the ground.

Both Stella and McLaren CEO Zak Brown have previously indicated that they feared that Red Bull would be able to make a big step in 2024 as the team didn’t have to focus R&D efforts on improving the RB19 over the course of last season.

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Stella agreed that those fears had been realised, and that Red Bull had used its resources to develop a radical new package.

“I would there are say two elements,” he said. “First of all car design, there’s some element of significant evolution on that car that certainly required time to be developed.

“And I think this is the time that we were referring to Zak and myself, in terms of like Red Bull not having developed last year parts that were introduced on the 2023 car.

“And the second element is performance itself. It looks like they are very strong. So it looks like what they wanted to achieve from a design point of view also delivered what I would say predominantly seems to be aerodynamic performance.”

McLaren demonstrated an impressive development rate last year, and Stella remains confident that the team can make good progress with the MCL38, and at least get closer to Red Bull.

“Let’s say what we have seen in our own development is that we seem to be able to keep the gradient of development that we started last year and that led us to the Austria, Singapore and the launch car development,” he said.

“So if we keep this development, I can’t say we’re going get there, but I become more optimistic that we can be in a competitive position. Obviously, if Red Bull keep developing at the same level,  we’re never going to meet them.

“The important thing is that you can actually keep this development over time. And in our own journey, if you think, in our end journey – at least after the technical reassessment, reorganisation of the team – we are not even 12 months in.

“So it’s a relatively short journey from this point of view, but I’m encouraged with what I see coming from a development point of view. Hopefully we can have it on the MCL38 in the early races of the season.”

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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