Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner made a light-hearted comment after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, stating that with Red Bull winning 21 out of 22 races in 2023, there was room for improvement in the coming year. While the remark may have elicited a somewhat hollow laugh given the unprecedented dominance of the team, it carried an underlying truth.
As Red Bull aims to defend its titles in the 2024 season, featuring a record 24 races, the goal is to produce an even more formidable car. Horner acknowledged the RB19 as a historically exceptional car, having won 21 races out of 22, missing only in Singapore, leaving room for enhancement.
Horner emphasized the perpetual pursuit of marginal gains, acknowledging the dynamic nature of Formula One, where competition constantly evolves. Red Bull aims to extract lessons from the RB19 and apply them to the development of their next car, the RB20, in an effort to defend their championships.
The key question revolves around how much their rivals can elevate their performance to challenge Red Bull. The gap between Red Bull and their closest rival, Mercedes, was significant, with Verstappen alone outscoring the entire Mercedes team. Despite Red Bull’s dominance, there is anticipation for potential improvements from rival teams in the upcoming season.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged the substantial challenge of catching up with Red Bull, while seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton pointed out Red Bull’s impressive performance despite not modifying their car since August or July. Formula One boss Stefano Domenicali cited McLaren’s notable improvement and highlighted the competitiveness in qualifying as factors indicating the potential for changes in the upcoming season, despite the next major rule change not occurring until 2026.