Formula 1 Racing

RB admit rushed Spanish GP upgrade package was a “belly flop” · RaceFans

Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Red Bull Ring, 2024

RB’s CEO admitted they made a mistake by rushing the introduction of their upgrade package for the last round of the championship.

Peter Bayer said the team originally intended to bring its new parts for this weekend’s race in Austria. But having successfully brought forward one upgrade earlier this year, they attempted to do the same, with less success.

“We kept pushing at the factory to bring the upgrade again a race early,” said Bayer yesterday. “Originally, the plan was to bring it here.

“But as we’d taken the risk of bringing a big upgrade to Miami, we thought that it’s better to bring them to Barcelona.”

By bringing the upgrade a week earlier, RB could also benefit from having three practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix to test them, instead of one at this weekend’s sprint event.

“We were pushing the team very hard,” said Bayer. “We had perhaps not done all the analysis we should have or needed, in fact, to have all the bits and pieces ready. It was a bit of a belly flop, perhaps, but we’ve learned from it.”

After studying the data they gathered in Spain, RB ran “very different packages” on Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda’s cars in the sole practice session at the Red Bull Ring yesterday.

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Tsunoda reached the second round of qualifying for the sprint race despite spinning and damaging his floor. He will start today’s midday race 14th while Ricciardo, who did not progress beyond the first round, will line up 16th.

Tsunoda spun but reached SQ2

Nonetheless racing director Alan Permane said the team “learnt a lot” from their experiments on Friday.

“Daniel had a lot of changes for the sprint qualifying session and it’s always difficult with one set of tyres,” he said, “We knew needing to nail that first lap was going to be difficult to get the best out of the car.

“However, it’s a long weekend and we’ll learn more in the sprint [race], and then we have another shot at qualifying in the evening.

“Yuki unfortunately went off on his second lap in SQ1 and damaged his floor. Without that, I’m very sure he would’ve been higher up. We’ll repair his floor overnight and make sure he’s got a perfect car for tomorrow.”

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