Daniel Ricciardo gets his first taste of 2024 RB car, Red Bull Racing, driver market, regulations, Zak Brown, F1 news 2024, Sergio Perez


Daniel Ricciardo says he expects his newly rebranded RB team to forge an identity as a stand-alone constructor outside the shadow of Red Bull Racing.

The team based in Faenza, Italy, has undergone an extensive rebranding in 2024 as part of owner Red Bull’s mission to make its F1 program more cost effective.

The energy drinks manufacturer also wanted to reposition the former Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri squad as being more than just a nursery for young drivers in the Red Bull junior program, something the team has already signalled by contracting 34-year-old Ricciardo for another season.

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But the reorganisation of the freshly named RB has appeared to only increase its reliance on the more successful UK-based Red Bull Racing.

RB’s English aerodynamics department is being expanded and moving 40 kilometres up the road from Bicester to Milton Keynes, where it will be cited on Red Bull Racing’s sprawling campus, allowing for a greater sharing of resources between the sister squads.

The team says it will also allow it to be more competitive on the F1 jobs market given seven of the 10 constructors are in the UK.

The rebranding has also inserted the Red Bull brand — initialised as RB — into the team name, albeit the Faenza company is registered under the slightly different name Racing Bulls.

The closer relationship with Red Bull Racing — encompassing a greater transfer of technology and greater access to resources like the wind tunnel and simulator — plus a boost in resourcing from big-name sponsors Visa and Cash App are expected to boost the perennial midfielder’s performance.

Ricciardo said he hoped a more frequent presence higher up the grid would force rivals and fans to take the team more seriously.

“It’s another phase of this team’s career,” he said. “Yes, we have some amazing partners on board that are going to help us get closer to the front of the grid, but I feel like it’s a time where we’re no longer seen as just a Red Bull junior team. It’s a team that’s standing on their own two feet.

“I think for other teams to take us seriously, this is the chapter I feel we are about to start.”

McLaren unveil car for 2024 season | 00:38

Technical director Jody Egginton said the team aimed to be a consistent points-getter in 2024 after struggling to just eight top-10 finishes last season.

“The overall goal is we want to be competitive,” he said. “We want to be fighting hard in the midfield and really able to extract all the performance that the car has available and then develop it from that point.

“I think if we can tick all of those boxes and get the best out of the car, we’ll be happy — and then a clear direction to develop it. They’re our objectives from the year starting from the first race.

“We had a strong finish to the year last year. Our expectation is we’re within that fight in the midfield and then we can get into that fight a little bit earlier, be a bit more consistent and be a feature in all of the races really battling hard in the fight for points and trying to extract the most from the car and from ourselves.”

There are concerns in the paddock about the level of cross-pollination between the two Red Bull-owned teams.

While some technology transfer is allowed under the regulations, the chassis and aerodynamic surfaces must belong to the individual constructors. Each team is also restricted to their own spending and development limitations.

But there are murmurs of discontent that Red Bull’s ownership of the two teams could allow a greater exploitation of grey areas in those rules, something for which McLaren boss Zak Brown has been on the front foot in calling for greater regulation.

“If you look at every other major sport, you’re not allowed to own two teams,” he said, per Planet F1.

“I can tell you, from sitting in the FIA and F1 Commission meetings, the voting is always the same even when in theory it shouldn’t be in one of the team’s best interests.

“We’ve seen it on track, some collaborations going on, and then technically they’ve been very forthright in where they’re going to take the suspension et cetera.

“The definition of a constructor is a team who develops their own IP, so I just think the sport’s now moved on to an equal playing field.

“To have A-B relationships, to have co-ownership of two teams, I think isn’t a level playing field.

“That’s not what the fans expect, and so the FIA really needs to do something about it.”

Hamilton opens up on ’emotional’ move | 00:58

RB’s close links with Red Bull Racing have at least been of benefit to Ricciardo personally, having allowed him to jump from his reserve role at the more established team and into the seat at AlphaTauri last year to jump start his career.

The connection has also created a potential path for him to follow back to a full-time drive with Red Bull Racing next season if Sergio Pérez fails to lift his game in 2024.

“Getting back with Red Bull is something that made me feel whole again, being back with that family,” he said.

Speaking after setting his first laps in the new car during a shakedown at Misano in Italy, the Aussie said he was excited to get back into the cockpit and prepare for three quickfire days of testing in Bahrain before the first grand prix of the season later this month.

“Every year you get excited for a new car,” he said. “I think it presents a new opportunity.

“From a feeling, it was just nice to get a few laps again after a Christmas break.

“It’s hard to know yet where we’ll be of course — it’s only early — but for me personally I felt really good getting behind the wheel again.

“As a team it’s the moment where we all need to be more of a team than ever, because once the races start you quickly run out of time.

“Testing is chance for us to really set the tone and be clear on the direction we need to take the team, because there are always going to be way to improve and areas to find lap time.”



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