Red Bull is planning to revamp its Formula 1 chassis with a number of upgrades in time for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 14, according to advisor Helmut Marko.
Red Bull entered 2017 looking to take advantage of the revised technical regulations that placed a greater emphasis on aerodynamic performance, an area the team has traditionally been strong in.
While Ferrari and Mercedes have stolen a march on the field to dominate the first three races, Red Bull has been marooned as the third-fastest team, seemingly adrift from rivals either in front or behind.
“We have two problems: Renault had some [power unit] reliability issues, which have slowed them down in the development, and we didn’t deliver the chassis that we should have done,” Marko told the official Formula 1 website.
“But we are working day and night to pick up our shortcomings. We are pretty optimistic that we will make a significant step forward in Barcelona where a big change of parts is coming.
“Sometimes patience is the best virtue a driver can have.”
When asked to place a time frame on the updates, Marko said: “The chassis will be ‘revamped’ in Barcelona and Renault is planning something for Montreal.”
Despite already being 55 points off leading team Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, Marko is confident that Red Bull can cut the gap, taking inspiration from its previous fightbacks.
“When we fought for the championship with Sebastian [Vettel] against [Fernando] Alonso, we were 42 points behind still after the summer break, and won. So we are the masters of ‘catch-up’.”
“We just have to go our own way by constantly reducing the gap.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.