Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey has played down the size of the team’s upgrades ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Attribute it to whatever you’d like, but Red Bull is suffering an internal communications problem. It seems like every day there is a new story regarding crossed wires, misinterpreted statements, downright unintentional falsehoods. Things have escalated to the point where Red Bull’s F1 CTO Adrian Newey has jumped into the conversation in an attempt to bring some definitive order and structure to the words that tumble endlessly from the mouths of his compatriots.
Newey spoke out recently on the team’s upcoming performance at Monaco, while being quick to point out that while they’ve been experiencing performance gains at every Grand Prix, the jump at Monaco is nowhere near the extent that others are making it out to be. Whether this is a case of verbal sandbagging or not is difficult to tell. Newey is an experienced player in the world of Formula One, and despite his position on the F1 Red Bull team still being part-time, he’s got more data and info at his fingertips than most armchair speculators.
As such, Newey is very much aware of the fact that the performance deficit between Red Bull and the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari won’t be resolved overnight – saying that there is no “magic bullet”:
“I think the package was a small step forward, which is what we expected.
It got vastly overhyped. We know we’ve got some work to do, we know what we need to do, so we’ve just got to get on with it.
It was never going to be the magic bullet, and there is no magic bullet.
It’s the usual thing, just chipping away at it.” – Adrian Newey
Newey is certainly giving the case surrounding his team’s performance a healthy dose of the “business as usual” treatment, but the tension within the team is absolutely noticeable. With such high peaks exacerbated by even lower valleys, the team’s fortunes for 2017 have been a mixed bag, to say the least. Several bouts of mechanical and brake issues interspersed by a podium placement by both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have shown Red Bull just how close victory can be.
Perhaps that’s the reason behind the hype. Just how many Red Bull Engineers are sitting in their garage, salivating as they hungrily gaze toward the rival pits of Ferrari and Mercedes, knowing that if they could do away with the modicum of a power deficit between them and the head of the pack, they would stand highest on the podium. Then again, we can’t write off Mercedes and Ferari so easily.
The duo remained locked in a pendulum of a championship battle, doing everything that they can to squeeze the maximum amount of performance out of both driver and car – and with every weekend the hundred million-plus-funded teams are throwing every resource they’ve got at their cars. Oh well. One can dream.