Red Bull Racing’s RB19, designed by Adrian Newey and his team, had a deliberate weakness in warming up cold tyres during qualifying, as the team prioritised race performance over one-lap performance, leading to their success in winning almost all Grands Prix in 2023.
‣ The RB19 of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had a weakness in warming up cold tyres in qualifying, which was a deliberate choice by Red Bull.
‣ Red Bull Racing prioritized race performance over one-lap performance when designing the car.
‣ The decision to focus on race performance over qualifying performance was made in 2021 and has proven successful.
‣ Despite starting from pole position fewer times, Red Bull recorded more victories in 2022 and 2023.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s RB19 had a single flaw. It struggled to warm up cold tyres during qualifying. Adrian Newey, in a chat with The Race, revealed this was a deliberate choice. It’s what gives Red Bull its edge.
In 2023, Red Bull Racing dominated the Grands Prix. The Austrian national anthem rang out after 21 of the 22 race weekends. But the car, crafted by Adrian Newey and his team, wasn’t perfect. The RB19 had a hard time warming up its tyres in colder conditions. Yet, this was no accident.
Red Bull’s Unconventional Strategy
“Yeah, that’s how we designed the car,” said the chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing. They prioritized race performance over qualifying. This decision was made back in ’21 during the car’s design phase. They chose to focus more on the race than on one-lap performance.
The choice was intentional. They believed that if overtaking became easier, qualifying performance would be less critical. And it seems their gamble paid off.
The stats reflect this strategy. In 2021, Red Bull secured pole position 10 times. But a year later, when they clinched the constructors’ world title, they only started from pole eight times. However, they did bag 17 victories in 2022. In 2023, they upped their game with 14 pole positions and a whopping 21 wins.