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Red Bull's surprising 2024 car 'just a more extreme version' of predecessor, says Adrian Newey

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Red Bull's surprising 2024 car 'just a more extreme version' of predecessor, says Adrian Newey

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has explained that the team's 2024 car is a product of "a more extreme version" of the same design philosophy they have pursued since 2022.

The Milton Keynes squad, who are seeking a third successive constructors' title, surprised the paddock by making significant changes during the winter to a car that had delivered the most dominant season in Formula 1 history.

The RB20 - with vertical sidepod inlets and taller engine cover - reminded onlookers of the 'zero-sidepod' design that Mercedes had failed to make work during the first two seasons of the current generation of F1 design regulations.

The early signs are that the changes have worked, with Red Bull sealing three one-twos in the first four races of the new season.

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"Really the sort of architecture of the car, has stayed very similar, third generation since 2022," Newey told Sky Sports F1 following reigning world champion Max Verstappen's victory in Japan.

"The kind of aero principles which you now see on this year's car compared to last year, it's a route that we were taking really since early 2022 and it's just a more extreme version or route down that same path.

"The whole principle including the top body is kind of extending a principle that we really started to push quite hard last year."

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Newey, who has been credited with masterminding Red Bull's recent dominance, paid tribute to his colleagues.

"It's a credit to all the guys back at the factory, obviously," he added. "We've got a tremendous team of engineers, and then that spreads through to the whole organisation and their enthusiasm and drive and creativity is what you see here before you."

Along with their choice to make significant changes to the all-conquering RB19, Red Bull's relentless desire to stay at the front of the grid has been further highlighted by the arrival of a major upgrade package for just the fourth race of the season.

After some initial challenges with the setup of the modified car in Friday practice, Verstappen found his groove to take pole and a straightforward victory, with team-mate Sergio Perez following him on both occasions.

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Ominously for the chasing pack, Newey suggested that Red Bull would likely have been able to win at Suzuka even without the upgrades, which included a new sidepod inlet design for improved air flow and efficiency, revised smaller front brake ducts, plus changes to the all-important floor and floor edge.

"We know what performance it (the upgrades) theoretically gave," Newey said. "As far as we can see from the pressure sensors and the load cells, then it delivered what it said on the tin from the wind tunnel.

"So it was a small step forwards. I think this weekend we've have probably been ok anyway. But we all know this is going to tighten up, so we just keep pushing."

Next up is the return of the Chinese Grand Prix on April 19-21, which is also the first Sprint weekend of the season. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and steam every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership - No contract, cancel anytime

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