Red Bull challenger fails FIA crash test as ‘lighter nose design’ sparks fears of relinquishing inherent advantage

While fans and pundits seem to be in conjunction with the view that Red Bull will put in another dominant performance across the upcoming season, their aspirations have been jolted with an early setback.

The Red Bull challenger for 2024 has shown the first chink in its armour before even hitting the track.

Red Bull. Credit: skysports.com
Red Bull. Credit: skysports.com

F1 cars need to go through crash tests in order to comply in the sport, and Red Bull’s challenger failed its first test in an issue related to its chassis.

The test is believed to have taken place prior to Christmas Day, but the car suffered a frontal crash test.

Therefore, FIA deemed its unsafe to race and Red Bull will need to make necessary changes to ensure that they can get it on the track.

The report comes from Motorsport Italia, which claims that Red Bull was trying to navigate the minimum weight requirement of 798 kgs by taking ‘extreme risks’ in making it lighter from the nose.

The car’s weight is of huge relevance as far as F1 is concerned, with Mercedes driver Lewis hamilton claiming that a reduction of 10 kgs can result in three tenths of a second per lap.

Therefore, all teams try to go for the lightest possible car within the minimum weight requirement.

Red Bull was seeking to have a lighter nose which led to the failed crash test in the first place.

Why they opted for a lighter nose is the fact that it is more sensitive and therefore provides a far more responsive front end.

As a result, the car is able to create oversteer and require minimal steering inputs, something that is ideally suited to the driving style of three-time world champion Max Verstappen.

While a lot can’t be said about just how detrimental this would be for Red Bull going ahead, it is a setback nonetheless.

The F1 season will begin with pre-season testing in Sakhir between February 19-21, with the season-opener scheduled in Bahrain a week later.

This does, therefore, offer Red Bull considerable time to adjust its design, but they will not find the optimal speed they had initially hoped to achieve.

It is worth noting that this situation is not new for Red Bull, as their 2022 car also failed its crash test.

however, we all know just how dominant it proved to be once the season got underway.

Red Bull will be hopeful this is just a small hiccup along the way and all pre-season predictions of smooth sailing do come true as the campaign gets underway.

Read more: Max Verstappen poaches key performance personnel from Ferrari camp to add to Carlos Sainz’s woes

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