Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has confirmed that the team did not bring a new chassis to the Belgian Grand Prix after their dominant performance.
The Austrian side were generally expected to be quick at Spa due to the high-speed nature of the circuit and the long periods of full-throttle driving.
70 percent of the lap at Spa is completed with the right foot all the way down, and the remarkable chassis, coupled with Honda’s exquisite power, made Red Bull the favourites.
Ferrari are no slouches either, but they simply had no answer to the pace of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, who dominated to take a one-two – their fourth of the season.
Verstappen had taken pole by six tenths of a second from Carlos Sainz after Charles Leclerc had given him a slipstream, knowing that he, along with the reigning champion, would be starting further down the grid due to a grid penalty.
The Dutchman quickly recovered from 14th to first though, and he never looked back as Sainz held off George Russell for the final podium place, while Leclerc finished sixth behind Fernando Alonso.
The pace difference, particularly to Mercedes, also defied some expectations that the technical directive (TD) implemented last weekend would harm the Milton Keynes-based side.
Changes were made to the floors so that teams could not use moving skid blocks as an advantage, and ride height stipulations were also a factor.
They were brought in for safety reasons, but it was considered that it might help the Silver Arrows climb back to the front of the order.
All the while though, Red Bull and Ferrari insisted that they did not need to change anything, so they did not, meaning that they also did not bring the new chassis that some had anticipated they would.
“Well, no, we didn’t bring it, and no, we don’t have one…so no, it wasn’t a factor in the performance,” said Horner.
In the end, the TD may have played further into Red Bull’s favour, and Horner stressed that, irrespective of how the regulations change, the parameters are the same for everyone.
“A lot was made and a lot of expectation was placed on that TD, arguably perhaps it’s hurt others more than its hurt ourselves,” he added.
“We haven’t really changed how we operate the car, obviously grounding here is always an issue because of Eau Rouge, but that’s not unique to us, that’s the same for every team.”
Due to Mercedes’ pace deficit, having pushed for new regulations for months amid suspicions that Red Bull were running an illegal floor, Horner joked that he should “thank” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for lobbying the FIA for the changes.