‘We Can’t Be That Wrong’: Red Bull Stick With High-Rake Design For Now

The Red Bull RB16 is the second-fastest car on the grid – and the team is looking to close the gap to Mercedes.

Red Bull Racing is known for its high-rake Formula 1 cars, as its top designers and engineers have long believed that this design concept is the best way to maximise downforce in a drag-efficient manner.

Some people in F1 have questioned the effectiveness of this concept and suggested a lower rake design could lead to a stronger package under the current regulations.

Recently, James Key, Mclaren’s technical director, said they were considering the possibility of switching to a lower rake design concept for 2021.

“While I don’t think the high-rake philosophy is dead necessarily, it does make you step back and think, well, maybe there is more out there that we could be finding at a lower rake.

“And in fact we’ve got some ideas and thoughts on how that might work,” Key added.

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And now, Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull’s driver development program, said they are also considering whether or not this design is the best way forward, but insisted that they are sticking with it for now.

“We’re looking into this. But since [Adrian] Newey believes that this is the most efficient solution, we’re sticking with it for the time being,” Marko said in an interview with Autosport.

“The top three, and Max [Verstappen] is among them, are lapping the rest of the field, so we can’t be that wrong with our concept.

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“We believe in it. That’s why you have a technical director, to set the direction,” he said.

On a separate note, Marko said the fact that the technical regulations will remain fairly constant into 2021 is encouraging teams to develop their current packages, as upgrades and improvements will be carried over into next season.

“The cars will remain as they are now. It’s another reason why we are really pushing development further this year: because we will have that for next year as well.”

Aside from developing their car to mount a serious title challenge against the dominant Mercedes, Red Bull will be considering a change in driver line-up for 2021 unless Alex Albon improves his performance.

However, earlier this week, Marko said that Albon is on Verstappen’s level in some ways and described him as “very fast”.

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