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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Red Bull’s kerb-ride push won’t risk F1 aero prowess

Red Bull is confident that curing the ride problems with its Formula 1 car can be achieved without it compromising its aerodynamic performance.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

The Milton Keynes-based team has faced a pair of challenging outings in Monaco and Montreal with its 2024 challenger proving not to be especially comfortable in handling kerbs and bumps.

It is understood that the problem relates to its aero platform requiring the RB20 to be run with stiff suspension settings than cannot be softened up much without it triggering downforce losses.

Red Bull is working on a solution that will deliver it a better overall package, but that is likely to take some time.

But team principal Christian Horner reckons that there is no reason why the solution that is eventually implemented cannot continue to allow the RB20 to show off its strengths.

And he said there were already encouraging signs of progress from the team in the way that Red Bull was so quick in the final sector of Montreal – which includes the final chicane that features high kerbs.

"All of it has to work in tandem, so you are pushing the aerodynamic platform of the car, but you want the car to ride kerbs,” he explained. “What was encouraging was that our sector three this weekend was competitive, even with the stiffness of the car rattling over that last chicane.

“If you look throughout the running. we were very competitive there. So, despite it being uncomfortable, we were still able to be quick enough.

“I think there is genuine performance there so if we can unlock that, then we will see it free up lap time."

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen was heard over the team radio in the Canadian Grand Prix complaining about his suspension “feeling locked”.

Asked to explain what the Dutchman meant, Horner said: “I think what he was referring to is the car is pretty stiff and, as the circuit dries out, the car is just going that bit quicker, and they are starting to use kerbs.

“But we understand what our issues are, and it was a great recovery from Monaco a couple of weeks ago. To win a race like that was a very rewarding and big one to win."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Speaking after his victory, Verstappen shared Horner’s optimism about Red Bull solving the problems without hurting the RB20’s strengths.

But he equally suggested that it was wrong to suggest Montreal had shown its kerb riding problems were not too bad, because the wet race had meant most drivers were steering clear of them.

“I really think that we can solve this without influencing any other part of the car,” said the world champion. “Today, it's more like, what kerb riding, because I felt that was non-existent in the race.

“We know that this is a weakness and I also know that we are flat out working on it to try and fix it, because I really feel like it's quite a big performance limitation for us at the moment.

“Then, of course, naturally, I'm also looking forward to some tracks maybe where we don't really need to take too many kerbs or too many bumps.”

Read Also:

Watch: Canadian GP Race Review - Wet and Wild Vs Cool and Calm

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