MAY 13, 2017

Newey denies new Red Bull in Spain

Max Verstappen says Red Bull is "still the third team" in F1, despite high expectations about the team's car upgrade for Barcelona.

Max Verstappen says Red Bull is still the third team in F1, despite high expectations about the team's car upgrade for Barcelona.

Some reports suggested the team's chassis upgrade warranted the description of the car as a 'B' spec.

But designer Adrian Newey played that down. "This is not a new car. Not even half-new. It's a normal upgrade," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

However, team boss Christian Horner thinks Red Bull nonetheless succeeded in closing the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari.

As for the 'B' car, he said: "I think that was probably overstated slightly in various media outlets, but it's a pretty significant upgrade.

"I think we are closer to Ferrari and Mercedes than we've been at any point so far this season," Horner added.

Still, Newey acknowledged that he has more work to do.

"I have been quite involved in other projects for the last two years and so there have been difficulties in communicating with my colleagues," he said. "We will improve that."

He played down claims Red Bull's biggest problems for 2017 were 'correlation' issues between the wind tunnel and the track, and the FIA's clampdown on clever suspension systems.

"It would be foolish to deny that," said Newey. "But the suspension doesn't explain everything."

So at the end of the day, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have all made fairly equal steps forward in Barcelona, with Lewis Hamilton surmising: "Everyone's taken a step forward. So nothing has really changed."