New bargeboards hint at Red Bull's upgrade
The first elements of Red Bull's much-awaited upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix appeared on Thursday, with heavily revised bargeboards appearing on its RB13 Formula 1 car.
While Red Bull has played down the extent of the changes coming this weekend, it is clear from what has appeared so far that the team has pushed hard on the aerodynamic front.
The new bargeboards feature a new fin along the middle section, and have a run of horizontal finger sections that follow a concept used by Mercedes.
Speaking at Barcelona on Thursday, Daniel Ricciardo said that it was unlikely Red Bull's changes would be enough to lift his team on a par with Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hoped it could close the gap:
" We still have to expect to be where we are, hopefully closer, but I don't think we can expect to come out and win this weekend. We want to. We would like to but we can't really expect it. Even if the update gave us a second, we know that Mercedes and Ferrari aren't going to come here with nothing. The target is to at least close the gap, but I don't think we should expect it before we've driven the car."
There had been wild speculation earlier this week that Red Bull could go as far as introduce a new chassis for the Spanish GP, but this was denied by the team.
Ricciardo admitted that Red Bull's focus remained on aero improvement rather than any mechanical or structural changes.
"As always, this time of the year, it's big aero stuff - that's the main upgrades," he said.
"The real mechanical side of the car, you've kind of got what you've got - it's mainly bits which are predominantly aero, so sidepods and all that kind of stuff, wings [that can be updated].
"It's pretty much everything we can play with. The guys have redesigned and tried to give us a bit more.
"There are a lot of bolt on bits but it's still the same car itself, so that's why we have to be a bit careful not to expect too much as it's still the same chassis essentially.
"These bolt ons should give it something."