F1: Red Bull and Their Secret Weapon

F1 team Red Bull have surged back toward the front of the pack in blistering style – but what lies at behind their sudden increase in performance.

We could argue that Red Bull has been competitive from the start of the season, but that wouldn’t be true. While the Milton-Keynes based team has had strong showings peppered in throughout the season, they looked ready give up the ghost only races ago.

Now, the energy-drink backed outfit has put their young prodigy, Max Verstappen, only 1 second off the pace of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton – an incredibly impressive result. Despite the lack of a Ferrari threat present in Suzuka, the fact that Verstappen was able to get so close to Hamilton throughout the race shows that Red Bull have found their way in the garage.

A great day for the Team topped off with a fastest pit stop of the #MalaysiaGP of 2.21 seconds! 👏🏆💪 #givesyouwings #📸: @gettyimages | @thommogetty #👐 #pushtheboundaries #maxverstappen #F1 #Pitstop #Malaysia

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As tempting as it would be to waltz into the meeting rooms and work Christian Horner over for an answer, that particular duty would best remain relegated to the goons and ninja henchmen under the employ of Mercedes and Ferrari.

For the rest of us plebs, we’ll have to be content with wondering and fighting over the scraps of information that Horner was willing to share:

“I think this circuit [Suzuka] is quite sensitive given that such a large percentage is flat out, even with load-bearing corners.

So, what we seemed to find is, if we pick a corner like 130R, compared to our immediate competitors, even though that corner is flat-out, we never recover on the exit of the corner.

Ultimately, it’s power, because as soon as you put a little bit of scrub, the engine isn’t able to pull through. It’s very sensitive to its acceleration at that point.” – Christian Horner

Thanks, Christian. A real eye-opener you had for us there. Once again, the adage of the tight-lipped F1 team boss proves to be true.

Admittingly, if you were expecting a grand flourish which culminated in all of Red Bull’s development secrets being laid bare, we’re sorry to tell you that your disappointment rests solely on yourself.

Did you really believe we had access to that kind of information? Shame on you. Take the Cone of Shame and sit in the corner.

Yes, Red Bull’s sudden surge in performance will likely remain confined to their garage, but the proof is in the pudding – Verstappen and Ricciardo are wasting no time in maximizing the power of their reinvigorated package.