Red Bull partially failed with its all-conquering RB19 Formula 1 car due to the disparity it experienced between its two drivers, according to Technical Director Pierre Wache.
The Austrian outfit enjoyed an unparalleled spell of dominance in 2023, winning all but one race as it wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship with record rounds to spare.
But while Max Verstappen secured victory in 19 of the 22 races – including 10 in a row between Miami and Monza – Sergio Perez failed to stand on the top step of the podium beyond the fourth round of the year in Baku.
Having closed to within one point of his team-mate, Perez encountered a torrid run of failing to progress to the top-10 shootout in qualifying at six consecutive grands prix.
“A fast car is a car that allows the driver to perform to the maximum,” Wache explained in Formule1.NL’s magazine special dedicated to Verstappen’s historic title-winning season.
“We failed in that respect because only one driver, Max in this case, could handle it well. That is Max’s talent, that he managed to use the car well throughout the season and under different conditions.
“On the other hand, we in turn may not have properly understood Checo what he needs to get the potential out of the RB19.”
Despite Red Bull capitalising on its sizeable advantage to cease development on its 2023 car in August, Team Principal Christian Horner has warned against complacency.
“We saw that in 2020 with Mercedes, if you remember that was their most dominant year and yet we were able to beat them in 2021,” Horner addressed in Abu Dhabi.
“There was a subtle rule change but I think nothing stands still and we had competitors coming closer at different venues and I’m sure concepts will converge, stable regulations always concertina, so I don’t think we will ever be able to repeat the season we’ve had.
“Hopefully we can take the lessons from RB19 and apply them into RB20 and come up with a car that we can defend these titles with.”
Wache, who joined Red Bull in 2013, admits that the challenge of attempting to replicate the Milton-Keynes-based squad’s success from the past year is something he relishes.
“At Red Bull we basically have all the resources and so there are no excuses to lose,” Wache added. “At least for me, I am a perfectionist.
“Technical people are strict. At our level, it is not the perfection that you never achieve that is important, but attention to detail. Because that’s how we make the difference. In our profession, a car that is 1% slower is a bad car, which is bizarre when you think about it.”