Australian GP 2022, Red Bull: setup being defined and the gap from Ferrari to be bridged

F1 – In Red Bull we are experiencing a transitory technical phase. Waiting for a package of updates that will have the stated goal of making the RB18 (to Melbourne only a marginal change has been made to theendplate of the front wing, nda), the technicians of Milton Keynes they try to optimize a car that is already effective on the whole. The youngest daughter of Adrian Newey continues to show surprising speed skills that, in a track modified and made faster with four zones DRScan count on an important weapon in the duel with the Ferrari that even atAlbert Park promises to be very peppery.

In the first free practice session, with a rapidly and constantly evolving asphalt, the two Red Bull they occupy the second virtual row: Sergio Perez a few thousandths from Leclerc And Max Verstappen in fourth place, almost a second off. These data are not very convincing but have highlighted a fact: the Dutchman did not say he was too satisfied with the setup.

During the first hour of activity, as happened in Jeddah, it was the Dutchman who “fought” with his car. Halfway through the session, he tried a rather decisive change of set-up which did not give the hoped-for results. He complained about it during the laps on the track with his engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase. From there the turnaround to return to the specifications used in the first minutes which were none other than those defined in the simulator.

Dutch Max Verstappen (Oracle Red Bull Racing) – in action during the 2022 Australian GP FP2

The second hour saw the world champion progress significantly during the session so as to close in second pizza with a gap from the summit by just over two tenths. The feeling is that time is very limited because it is obtained in particular conditions. First of all, he has never had a single clean lap due to traffic. Again, it should be specified that the time arrived on the fourth attempt with the same soft train. Considering the turn alternation of cooling down – recharge and running around, Max he was on the ninth step: more gasoline, no more fresh rubber. This is why there is so much leeway to extract.

Again, the pilot of Hasselt and his engineer worked by sector, focusing, from time to time, on each of the three, “letting go” of the others. The chronometric progression of the T3 which, in the early stages, was the nerve center of the tour. Entering Turn 9, at the beginning of the session, showed a constant tendency to understeer which in the change of direction turned into a lightening of the rear which determines oversteer. Also Curve 11 worried the pilot who struggled to find the point of the rope and when he did he went out slightly oversteer.

Max Verstappen in action during the FP2 of the Australian GP 2022

With the passing of the minutes, thanks to an increased feeling and a more fuel-drained car, things have improved significantly, so much so that his is the best. T3 of the day. The general line, however, the RB18 n ° 1 confirms the trend observed first in Bahrain and then in Jeddah: it is not as reactive as the left-right Ferrari F1-75. Which could derive from the increase in weight that is discounted with respect to the project Maranello and to solve which the Imola evolution package is awaited.

Conflicting statements from the protagonists of the current vice-champion team. Perezonly fifth to almost seven tenths from Ferrari n ° 16, he struggled quite a bit. “With the soft rubber it was challenging. We made some setup changes before the afternoon and we will have to analyze it. Some things are not working as we thought. It was a pretty tough day but we have enough data to evaluate. The gap is not great, we are talking about a few tenths which, however, would change our lives. At the moment we still don’t understand how the machine behaves“.

Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing Honda, 2021 season)

If the Mexican appeared bewildered, he seemed more direct and pragmatic Verstappen who has developed a great capacity for analysis: “I’ve always had cars ahead of me in the fastest lap and that didn’t help me. We lacked some balance at the start of both sessions. Then, for the last run, we changed the car a bit and I felt much better. We are slightly behind the Ferrari but we have room to get close“.

Where the Red Bull No. 1 seemed very consistent is on the race pace simulation which was not completely complete due to the red flag caused by the‘Aston Martin by Lance Stroll which has lost the left over-wheel flap. “The long run was stable, I’m happy. We have taken the right direction, we hope to make some more adjustments for tomorrow. The battle is between us and the Ferrari. They look very strong“.

Max Verstappen

It is on the race set-up that in Red Bull they have evidently worked more carefully. In a circuit that has become faster thanks to the changes made in the winter, the men of Milton Keynes will try to exploit, in the duel with the Ferrarithe higher average speed expressed by the blue car.

The DRS (four areasAlbert Park, nda) could become the key factor as happened in the two previous appointments. In general, however, the progression on C3 medium tires felt very very solid. On this Verstappen intends to build his weekend of glory.

Photo: F1, Oracle Red Bull Racing

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