Red Bull’s disadvantage ahead of Austrian GP

The Red Bull Racing team will not be able to carry out private testing until the start of the 2020 F1 season in July.

While Mercedes and Ferrari have already scheduled private tests this week with 2018 cars at Silverstone (Mercedes) and Fiorano (Ferrari), the Red Bull team will not be able to organise any such tests.

Teams wishing to take part in this type of private test, which only serves to help drivers get back on track after a long forced break, must do so with a car that is at least two years old.


Last year, Max Verstappen won the Austrian GP for Red Bull Honda

This will be the case for Mercedes, which will be using the 2018 W09 this week, while Scuderia Ferrari will be running its drivers in the 2018 SF71H as well.

In the case of the Red Bull team, in 2018 the Milton Keynes-based team still used Renault engines in the rear of its car, before switching to the V6 Turbo Honda block in 2019.



This means in marketing terms that it will be a very poor move to use a 2018 car equipped with a Renault engine when the team’s official engine manufacturer is Honda. Further, it is unclear if Renault would even supply technicians for such a test ahead of a competitive racing season involving their works team.

As a result, it will be impossible for Red Bull to run its two drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon before the start of the 2020 season, unless the British team decides to place its drivers in a Toro Rosso STR13, which was already equipped with a Honda engine in 2018.



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