Christian Horner has explained that weight-saving remains the priority for the RB18 as Red Bull seek consistent “incremental gains” to keep up with Ferrari.
Red Bull and Ferrari have been the class of the F1 field so far this season, with the victories split between Max Verstappen (three) and Charles Leclerc (two).
After introducing an upgrade package in Imola, Red Bull have built some momentum through back-to-back wins, enabling Verstappen to cut Leclerc’s championship lead to 19 points.
Red Bull looking to save weight and improve tyre degradation
According to RacingNews365.com technical analyst Paolo Filisetti, the RB18 is set to be lightened by a further seven kilogrammes for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, alongside aerodynamic changes.
And, despite the strict budget cap, Horner has suggested that more developments will be on the way over a busy summer period of races.
“You saw in Imola how quickly things can move around and I think we’ve got some interesting races coming up,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.
“The car’s running well. We’ve hopefully got some developments coming later in the summer that will help as well, [as] we need to save a little bit of weight.”
Horner added that, while Red Bull are on a “good trajectory”, he wants to see developmental progress “everywhere” at upcoming events.
“We need to improve [in] the slow stuff (corners). We need to lose a couple of kilos off the car; tyre degradation is then the result of weight,” he said.
“It’s all those little incremental gains that you’re always chasing.”
How will Red Bull’s development battle with Ferrari develop?
Horner was then asked about Red Bull’s superior straight-line speed in 2022, and whether Ferrari could be tempted to trim downforce in response.
He described the situation as a “philosophical” one and expects the lead battle to ebb and flow depending on circuit characteristics.
“I think we went into this campaign with that (straight-line speed) in mind and I think Ferrari have designed their car to optimise around another area,” Horner said.
“I think that will move from circuit to circuit. Maybe in Monaco they’ll, for example, have a significant advantage.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re versatile with those kinds of tracks coming up.”
While Verstappen closes on Leclerc, Red Bull sit just six points away from Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.