Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Mark admits that his team will have to revise their lightweight DRS system after the issues suffered by Max Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s rear wing did not open on his final qualifying run in Spain, denying him the chance to consolidate pole position as Charles Leclerc came up with a clutch lap to claim his fourth pole of the year.
The Dutchman would then spin in the opening stint of the race, putting him behind George Russell, but he looked to have the pace to get back in front of the Mercedes until he encountered more rear wing woes.
Verstappen told his team that he had tried to open the rear win “50 times” on the straight with no success, but he adopted a three-stop strategy to get himself ahead after his final stop, before using his fresh tyres to pass team-mate Sergio Perez, who was asked to let him through.
The issues in Barcelona followed reliability failures in Bahrain and Australia, but it was Ferrari’s turn to feel that pain on Sunday as Chares Leclerc was forced to retire due to an issue with the MGU-H.
Red Bull now lead both championships for the first time this year, and Dr Marko affirms that he always knew his team would recover from the tricky start.
“After his second retirement, you all said it was over for us but I said back then that we still had plenty of races to go and we would hit back,” he said.
The reason Perez did not suffer the same issues as Verstappen last weekend was because he was not given the updated, lighter rear wing.
The 79-year-old elaborates that new parts have to be made so quickly that they simply cannot always prepare two of everything.
“At this rate of development, you can never build everything for two cars at first,” added Dr Marko.
Verstappen’s DRS was made up of lighter components due to the necessity to get the cars down to the 798kg weight limit set by the FIA, but the Austrian concedes that they ultimately went too far with the measures.
“When you have a weight, you have to start making parts lighter and we reached a limit. Then the parts bend or no longer have the rigidity,” he explained.
“So that’s a tightrope walk.”
Dr Marko indicated that saving weight will not be so important in Monaco, as the unique race puts more emphasis on the driver than the car.
“Two kilos more or less doesn’t make the difference in Monte Carlo,” added the former Formula 1 driver.
Red Bull lead the Constructors’ Championship by 26 points from Ferrari heading to Monaco, while Verstappen is now six points ahead of Leclerc.