Hamilton and co facing impossible task due to ‘genius’ Red Bull development

Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Charles Leclerc may be unable to overhaul Max Verstappen due to a “genius” invention on the Red Bull. According to Sky Sports F1 host Karun Chandhok, the reigning champions have a revolutionary DRS system which has sent the team to the top.

He claims the constructor has around a 10 per cent advantage over the rest of the field by reducing ore drag compared to their rivals. Chandhok stressed this was “free performance” for Verstappen and Sergio Perez which would be beneficial when starting lower down the field.

Chandhok told the Sky Sports F1 podcast: “It’s genius isn’t it? We’ve had DRS now for 12 seasons and they’ve just gone there and thought, ‘right, we need to find something that gives us this incredible advantage so even if we don’t qualify the front row it doesn’t matter’ – as proved this weekend.

“Somebody was showing me some drag numbers and when they hit the magic button, the Red Bull loses about 24-25 per cent of its drag – this was for the case in Baku – whereas most others are sort of 14-15 per cent.

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“So they’ve just given the drivers free performance. So more often than not they’re going to qualify the front row but even if they don’t, they’re still going come through the pack.”

Red Bull have already put the system to the test with Verstappen fighting back to secure a podium in Saudi Arabia and a win in Miami after difficulties in qualifying. Perez also fought back from last on the grid to finish an incredible P5 in Australia last month.

Hamilton appeared to complain about the Red Bull’s straight-line speed advantage in Melbourne as Verstappen breezed past. After the race, the seven-time champion claimed the RB19 was the most dominant car he had seen in F1. He said: “I’ve definitely never seen a car so fast.

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“I think when we were fast, we weren’t that fast. I think it’s the fastest car I’ve seen, especially compared to the rest. I don’t know how or why, but he came past me with some serious speed. I didn’t even bother to block because it was just a massive speed difference.”

Technical expert and former Jordan Gary Anderson has also highlighted the importance of Red Bull’s simple tweak. He has since branded the device a “triple DRS”, applying the drag reduction effect for the whole rear end of the car.

Speaking to The Race, he called on rival teams to run a “more aggressive beam wing” to get more downforce as a way to counter the device.

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