Red Bull have arrived at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend with upgrades that have taken another 5kg off their car, according to Dutch journalist Erik van Haren.
The Austrian outfit implemented changes in Imola that were also thought to have taken up to 5kg off the RB18, and the subsequent pace increase enabled Max Verstappen to win there and in Miami.
Both Ferrari and Red Bull were perceived to be at between 806-808kg, which is still 8-10kg over the 798kg limit, but with those two teams dropping weight this weekend, they will bring themselves closer to the regulation figure.
Interestingly, a source close to Red Bull suggested that they believe Ferrari are a good “seven to eight” kilograms lighter than them, which either indicates that the Scuderia are more or less going to reach the limit this weekend, or that Red Bull are finally going to drop below 810kg.
Whatever the case may be, Dr Helmut Marko confirmed previously that his team will not be able to meet 798kg this weekend, and van Haren revealed that, at a race where upgrades typically tend to be vital going into the European run-in, the Milton Keynes-based side have dropped 5kg in weight.
“Traditionally, in the run-up to GP Spain, it is mainly about updates. A good package for Ferrari, among others, Red Bull loses about five kilos,” he tweeted.
Our estimation is now that both Ferrari have dropped to around 803kg, so they are both likely to be there or thereabouts when they introduce their next major upgrade.
This is after the Maranello side installed a lighter floor to their F1-75 and, with Ferrari waiting until round six to bring their first major batch of changes, team principal Mattia Binotto indicated that Red Bull would have to “stop developing” due to their changes edging them closer to the $142.1 million budget cap, which was reduced due to the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix.
Indeed, there were implications that they had gone through at least two thirds of their development budget, but Dr Marko described this an “nonsense,” and Verstappen has emphasised that there is capacity for more.
“There’s plenty left in the tank!” he told the Formula 1 website.
“There’s always things we can do better, and I think at the moment the main one for us is reliability, so we’ll just try to get on top of that first.
“I think we just have a team working really well on-track, but also back at the factory, it’s very efficient, and I think that, of course, with the cost cap is very important. But I think we’re definitely one of the best on the grid with that.”
Ferrari have generally been faster in the corners this year, and the Circuit de Catalunya is known for its high-speed corners, but the reigning champion believes his car will compete well.
“I expect us to do well here but of course, you have to wait and see what the other teams are going to bring,” explained Verstappen.
“We’ll see. I’m pretty relaxed. It’s a long season and I know that it’s all going to be about development in the car anyway. So, step by step, every race.”
Aston Martin have also made changes this weekend, and their car is being described as the “Green Red Bull” due to the likeness of their new sidepods.