Andrea Stella was left saying ‘wow’ after witnessing the Red Bull 2024 rival for the first time. McLaren and Lando Norris were hoping to challenge the defending champions for regular race wins this season, but in the RB20, it looks like the team from Milton Keynes have produced another revolutionary piece of F1.
Red Bull continued where they left off on the first day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit with Max Verstappen sitting high on the timing screens. The Dutchman punched the fastest which was more than 1.1 seconds ahead of Norris, who was second in the order.
Speaking after the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, Stella said: “I have to say when I saw the car, I was like, ‘Wow, they had the guts to change some of the shapes that made the car so successful last year.’
“I think they could have enjoyed that advantage last year which gave them confidence from a risk-taking point of view because you can take these risks early to see if it works.
“What I can say, though, is that although there is innovation, that we can see macroscopically, as I have already said, in many of these principles it is in millimeters. And much happens in the work we do not see between the bottom of the car and the ground.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for McLaren after the first two days of testing, however. The Woking side ended the 2023 campaign in style and team boss Stella believes they will be able to continue their momentum in the promotion race when the 2024 season gets underway next weekend.
“Let’s just say what we’ve seen in our development is that we seem to be able to keep the level of development that we started last year and that led us to Austria, Singapore and the development of the launch vehicle,” Stella continued.
“So if we keep this progress, I can’t say we will get there, but I am more hopeful that we can be in a competitive position. Obviously, if Red Bull continues to develop at the same level, we will never meet them.”