If there was ever more validation needed regarding the efficiency of Red Bull’s RB16B chassis, a glimpse at the speed trap readings from Friday’s qualifying provides another ringing endorsement.
Silverstone is a proper “power circuit” by all measures, but for all the prowess displayed by Honda’s engineers last winter to improve their engine, the unit wasn’t pushing Max Verstappen down Hanger Straight at a blistering pace in qualifying, or if it was it was countered by the RB16B’s significant downforce.
The Red Bull charger was the slowest in a straightline in qualifying, almost a massive 10 km/h slower than his Mercedes rivals. And yet his fastest lap in Q3 was just 0.075s adrift from Lewis Hamilton as the pair topped the early evening session.
Read also: Mercedes holds strategy advantage over Verstappen – Wolff
So, the verdict is clear: Red Bull has sacrificed a fair amount of top speed for the RB16B’s pace around Silverstone’s fast sweeps.
However, it remains to be seen how the RB16B’s aero load will impact tyre degradation around Silverstone’s high energy layout, and how well Verstappen – who will lead the field this afternoon at the start – will be able to fend off Hamilton and Bottas on the straights. Stay tuned…
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