Red Bull RB20 Sidepod

Akshita Patel

Toto Wolff Sees Glimpses Of W14 In RB20; Will Red Bull Succeed The Zeropod Concept?

Red Bull Racing has set a new benchmark in Formula One with a sensational development of RB19. The 2023 season challenger had everything one need from an F1 car. It was quick, stable on the corners, and a beast with DRS. It was highly regarded as the quickest car ever introduced on the grid.

However, this year, Red Bull chose to set the bar higher for themselves and opted for a steep challenge. 2024 F1 season challenger RB20’s first look sent the F1 fraternity into a frenzy, including Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. The Austrian team principal saw something familiar and acknowledged the drink-based outfit’s courageous move.


Toto Wolff Impressed With Red Bull’s Choice To Adopt Zeropod Concept!

Red Bull

In a bold and courageous move, Red Bull Racing adopted the zeropod concept for RB20, the same concept that led to Mercedes’ downfall in the first place. The concept was flawed, and the eight-time constructor champions fell to rock bottom. However, the reigning F1 champions have chosen to challenge themselves. They got rid of the traditional wide sidepods and opted for a much slimmer one. Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff noticed the change and lauded the drink-based outfit’s approach. However, he feels the zeropod is a smokescreen. The actual performance will come from what’s underneath. He said RB20’s performance depends on how the floor reacts underneath. “These are ground-effect cars, where it’s also about the downforce and the mechanical handling characteristics,” said Wolff.

Nevertheless, Toto Wolff expects Red Bull to succeed with the Zeropod concept to some extent, as the team has been strong with floor development in recent years. Wolff also believes that the reigning F1 champions’ wind tunnel suggested opting for a different approach and not maximizing on things that were already successful. “An extremely courageous step,” he added. Having said that, if Red Bull, for real, made the zeropod concept work, it would be nothing short of an embarrassing moment for Mercedes. They worked on the flawed concept for two straight years yet failed to extract the desired performance. Eventually, the Silver Arrows had to get rid of the concept, and the team went back to the traditional sidepods for W15. Basically, this year, Mercedes has copied the Bulls and vice versa. It would be an interesting battle at the top. And an entertaining season is on the cards for F1 fans.

Mercedes Happy With Its Own Innovations


Meanwhile, Mercedes also seemed to have found a headway with their car development. The 2024 season challenger W15 has an innovative front wing and suspension design, which will increase the airflow underneath the floor. Meanwhile, the front wing grabbed eyeballs due to violating FIA laws.

But Mercedes managed to get clearance by exploiting the loophole. However, it would be interesting to see how these new innovations perform on track. Red Bull is still the favorite to win, as RB20 is being touted as remotely similar or rather better than RB19. If that’s the case, it’s game over for the rest of the grid even before the season commences.

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