Red Bull Racing’s Technical Director Optimistic for Further Success in 2024

In his capacity as Technical Director at Red Bull Racing, Pierre Wache presided over Formula 1’s most dominant season to date last year. Yet, the Frenchman is adamant that his team is poised for even greater achievements in 2024.

The numbers illustrating Red Bull’s extraordinary on-track prowess in 2023 have been recited ad nauseam since the season’s conclusion in Abu Dhabi, but they bear repeating here. Under Wache’s guidance, the RB19 machine clinched victory in 21 out of 22 races in 2023, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz being the sole non-Red Bull victor.

Max Verstappen, behind the wheel of the RB19, secured 19 of those 22 wins, propelling him to his third consecutive drivers’ title. He dominated by leading an astonishing 76% of the Grand Prix laps, while the team amassed a record-breaking 860 points in the constructors’ standings, achieving their maiden one-two finish.

Despite this unprecedented success, Wache maintains a modest stance. “We did a commendable job, but not an extraordinary one,” he asserts, devoid of irony. Acknowledging the weaknesses of their previous car, the RB18, Wache explains, “We aimed to address those flaws with the RB19. Although we didn’t eradicate them entirely, the team managed to mitigate them sufficiently for on-track success.”

Wache attributes Red Bull’s dominance not solely to their prowess but also to the regression of their rivals. He remarks, “Our car’s strength highlighted our competitors’ weaknesses. Some teams faltered more than progressed between 2022 and 2023, which skewed perceptions of our performance.”

One notable narrative from 2023 was the performance gap between Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen’s individual point tally alone sufficed to clinch the constructors’ championship for Red Bull, leaving Perez trailing by 166 points. Wache, having previously collaborated with Perez, attributes this deficit to engineering challenges rather than driving skill.

“The car’s weaknesses play a significant role, beyond driver ability,” Wache explains. “Our focus is to equip Perez with the necessary tools to navigate these shortcomings. It’s primarily an engineering task.”

Nevertheless, Wache commends Verstappen’s pivotal role in Red Bull’s triumphs, emphasizing his evolution since joining the team at 18. “Max has matured and enhanced his consistency and self-assurance,” Wache observes. “He remains instrumental to our success, offering invaluable feedback on car dynamics and performance.”

Looking ahead to the RB20, slated for launch on February 15, Wache remains optimistic despite Red Bull’s cautionary remarks regarding potential performance plateaus. He anticipates further advancements over the RB19, particularly in areas such as ride quality, kerbing, and low-speed performance.

“Max has highlighted areas for improvement, and we’re actively addressing them,” Wache affirms. “The RB20 presents ample opportunity for refinement and progress.”