Christian Horner says Red Bull will need to field a car that performs at “a whole variety of circuits” next season to fight the dominant Mercedes squad for the F1 world title.
Red Bull secured just two wins this season, courtesy of Max Verstappen brilliant drives at F1’s 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone and in the season closing Abu Dhabi GP.
The team’s RB16 proved a complicated machine to master for its drivers in the early part of the season, although Verstappen adapted to the 2020 contender better than teammate Alex Albon.
However, the car’s aerodynamics were either an asset or a liability depending on a venue’s characteristics. But the team progressively ironed out part of the RB16’s weaknesses as its understanding improved over the season.
“I think we’ve improved the car significantly,” said Horner, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I think we’ve understood what those issues are, and I think that, hopefully, that can be further addressed as we go into next year.”
Nevertheless, with teams compelled to use the same chassis in 2021 as mandated by the FIA’s rules and only limited aero development allowed, Red Bull will need to spend its two development tokens wisely.
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“We need a car that performs at a whole variety of circuits, which Mercedes have been very good at producing,” added Horner. “That’s where we need to be strong next year.
“We’ve got to be strong on all types of circuit, particularly with a 23 race calendar.
“But I think that particularly at a circuit like Abu Dhabi, to take that [winning] kind of performance into the winter, is very, very encouraging.”
Also, Red Bull will need to hit the ground running in Melbourne and break from its habit of starting slow and gradually ramping up its performance.
“It’s not a start from scratch again,” Horner said. “Obviously a large percentage of the car does carry over, but where we start in Barcelona [testing] in a couple of months’ time is going to be pretty much where we finish [this year] with the relevant upgrades on it.”
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