Red Bull has downplayed claims that it will be as dominant against the opposition as it was the previous year, when it won all but one grand prix. However, its competitors are not taking anything for granted. 

Furthermore, McLaren, who finished the year as Red Bull’s strongest rival, is particularly cautious about the circumstances, as it is aware that the world champion team halted construction of their 2023 car early. 

This suggests that Red Bull may have been able to focus on some significant improvements for their 2024 vehicle that have not yet been unveiled to the public. 

Speaking during the launch of McLaren’s 2024 livery, CEO Zak Brown stated that while his team wanted to challenge Red Bull this year, they had to be realistic about the situation. 

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“Clearly, we want to continue to close the gap,” he said. “We finished up last year as the second or third quickest team, depending on what circuit you were at.” 

Zak further added, “Car development has been strong, but Red Bull certainly seems like they didn’t develop last year to the level they could if they wanted to. So that could be an unpleasant surprise for all of us.” 

Regarding the progress it has made with the 2024 MCL38 car, McLaren is optimistic about the positive results it is receiving from its wind tunnel and CFD simulation facilities. 

Though he is aware that Red Bull won’t have stagnated over the winter, team boss Andrea Stella has shared Brown’s skepticism about that improvement in performance translating into greater results on track. 

“When it comes to competitiveness on track, this depends on what the opposition has done,” Stella said. 

Stella further added, “When we think specifically about Red Bull, there’s one element that obviously, I think, puts everyone in doubt as to what’s going to happen in 2024. It’s the fact that they haven’t developed their car very much [towards the end of last year].”

“So, the question is, have they cashed in and accumulated development that they will capitalize on for next year’s car? This is my theory,” he said. 

Also Read: Abu Dhabi GP Winner Verstappen Leads Mercedes P2 In Constructors’ Standings

He then went on and added, “I would say Red Bull should be extremely competitive, and we will see where we are and what kind of challenge we will be able to set on track.”

“But, for me and for us, it’s important that we see we are doing a good job out of our own performance development. We are confident that, if we keep doing this over time, we have an opportunity to close the gap. So that’s our vision for the future.”

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