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Red Bull Thrown Off By Major Challenge Awaiting Them: “We Have Been Warned”

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Red Bull Thrown Off By Major Challenge Awaiting Them: "We Have Been Warned"

For the first time since 2019, F1 will race in China at the Shanghai International Circuit. After returning to winning ways in Japan, Red Bull and Max Verstappen will once again be the favorites to win the Chinese GP race. However, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is concerned about the high tire wear at the track, posing a threat to his team’s chances.

Recalling the race in Australia, Marko drew parallels between the two tracks. With Sergio Perez out on the tracks as the lone Red Bull driver, heavy tire wear issues stopped him from making much progress. In the end, the Mexican had to settle with a P5 finish in Melbourne. Hence, Helmut Marko believes the race in Shanghai could be a surprise for Red Bull, despite the team learning from Melbourne.

You could see that with Checo [Perez], how much tyre wear there was. So, it could still be a surprise that way [in China], but we have been warned by what happened at Melbourne and I think now we know better how to react. But it’s a completely new situation for most of us.” – Marko said, as quoted by RacingNews365.

The track in Shanghai takes a lot out of the tires. It features hard braking zones with long corners and straights that add to the toll on the tires. The track is similar to the one in Australia in that sense, and the RB20 was far from dominant there.

Additionally, the latest F1 cars have never raced in Shanghai. Hence, no one knows what to expect once real racing begins. Furthermore, the introduction of a Sprint session will make things even more tricky for the teams as Red Bull will hope for no more surprises on an abrasive track surface.

Christian Horner wary of Red Bull facing a tough challenge from Ferrari in China

With F1 returning to Shanghai after a four-year hiatus, the track recently underwent resurfacing. The ground-effect cars will make their debut in China, and Christian Horner sees the same as a challenge. Per Horner, the driver who adapts the fastest will score the maximum points, given only 60 minutes of Practice are available.

Heading to China confidently, Horner remains wary of a Ferrari challenge. He expects the Italian outfit to be their closest competitor in Shanghai, hinting at some fierce competition.

Moreover, Horner also understands the challenges posed by the nature of the Shanghai track. High-speed corners and hard braking zones will take a toll on the tires, which could be a problem for Red Bull. On top of this, the additional element of a sprint race throws the planning off for many teams, as they cannot strategize properly for the main race.

Hence, Horner drew attention to the heightened degradation that will put drivers under added pressure. He said, “There with the high speed corners onto the back straights as well, it’s always been very punishing on the front left tire, but we’ve got a sprint race as well.”

There is a slight change in the sprint schedule though for this season. The Sprint shootout will take place on Friday afternoon, with the Sprint race happening on Saturday afternoon. Last year, the entire Saturday was dedicated to the sprint shootout and the race. So, this may help teams in China to some extent, as they can switch focus to the main qualifying and the Grand Prix after Saturday morning’s sprint is over.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Naman Gopal Srivastava


Naman is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. Initially a football fanatic who worships Puyol and Leo Messi, Naman soon fell in love with the world of F1 upon reading about Jim Clarke. While the current era drivers do fascinate him, Naman still chooses to idolize Clarke and Ayrton Senna. When he is not busy watching the highlights of some of the greatest races of his idols, Naman can be found scribbling little snippets in his diary of poems or out in the town, exploring new places to eat.

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