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Coulthard shares early feedback from Red Bull camp after RB20’s shakedown at Silverstone

Staff Writer

Mike Seymour
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Former F1 driver David Coulthard has offered some insight into Red Bull’s first track activity with their new car at Silverstone last week, stating that there were “no surprises” during the initial running.

Red Bull shook down the overhauled RB20 at the British Grand Prix venue on Tuesday before formally presenting the machine to the world two days later, with the team hoping they can win both world titles for a third successive season.

GALLERY: Check out every angle of Red Bull’s new F1 car, the RB20

While there are plenty of noteworthy design changes compared to the world-beating RB19, the wet/dry filming day went smoothly according to Coulthard, who raced for Red Bull from their debut season in 2005 to 2008.

Asked by Formula1.com at the RB20’s launch for any feedback from the shakedown, and what Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez told him after driving the car, Coulthard said: “Just that it functions as you would expect in those conditions – no surprises.

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Red Bull gave the RB20 a maiden run at Silverstone before their official launch

“I think the technical team were happy with the numbers they were getting in terms of… the things you can get out of that, the cooling and load sensors.”

He continued: “Even if you went out and thought the car was amazing in a shakedown, the only thing that matters is Saturday qualifying and ultimately Sunday race [at the first round] in Bahrain.

TECH ANALYSIS: Why Red Bull’s aggressive RB20 is likely to have alarmed their F1 rivals

“It’s a launch iteration… there will be upgrades coming to the test up until the last day and there might even be an upgrade that comes for the Friday of the Bahrain race, and all of these upgrades are expected to change performance, balance and lap time.”

Verstappen: 'Everything is working very well'

Coulthard, who also raced for Williams and McLaren across an F1 career that yielded 13 Grand Prix victories, then pondered the teams who are most likely to take the fight to Red Bull this season.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but you’ve got to believe Ferrari had a strong car last year in terms of single-lap pace,” he said. “If they’ve managed to improve on whatever it was that was making their race pace difficult then they are a real contender.

READ MORE: Perez hails ‘brave’ Red Bull for inspired car development ahead of 2024 season

“Mercedes were making big strides at the end of the year… McLaren, again, back of the grid in Bahrain, pretty much at the front of the grid in Abu Dhabi, so huge growth during the course of the year.”

The first answers should arrive when Red Bull and the rest of the F1 field hit the track together for the first time in Bahrain this week, with pre-season testing scheduled to run from February 21-23.

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