Christian Horner says it is important that Red Bull Racing produce a car that is quick on a variety of different types of circuit, much akin to what the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team have been able to do in recent years.
Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says the team have identified areas that need improving to the RB16 ahead of the 2021 season, with the need to be competitive on every type of track important due to the expanded twenty-three race schedule.
Both Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon found the RB16 a difficult car to drive at times during the 2020 season, although the former was able to take two victories and nine additional podium finishes on his way to third place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Albon took two podiums of his own in the Tuscan and Bahrain Grand Prix, but the Anglo-Thai driver will drop down to test and reserve driver for next season with Sergio Pérez taking his place.
Horner says Verstappen winning the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi gives the team some confidence heading into the off season, and with more than half of this year’s car likely to carry across to next year, they will arrive in pre-season testing with hope they’ve made significant gains to Mercedes.
“I think we’ve improved the car significantly,” Horner is quoted as saying 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.
“We need a car that performs at a whole variety of circuits, which Mercedes have been very good at producing. That’s where we need to be strong next year. We’ve got to be strong on all types of circuit, particularly with a twenty-three-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.
“It’s not a start from scratch again. 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.”