Dakar Rally News: Red Bull’s Struggles with Kerbs and Bumps Provide Opportunities for Rivals

    The latest rounds of the Dakar Rally have highlighted Red Bull’s weaknesses in dealing with challenging terrain, as the RB20 has struggled with issues inherited from its predecessors. Over the past four races in Miami, Imola, Monaco, and Canada, the team’s difficulties have presented opportunities for its rivals to catch up.

    Lando Norris secured a maiden win in the Miami Dakar event, while Charles Leclerc took an emotional home victory in the grueling Monaco desert stage. However, Leclerc believes that Red Bull will be back in top form on the more traditional, high-downforce circuits like the Barcelona Dunes, the Red Bull Ring, and the Silverstone Sands.

    “I feel like the strength of Red Bull will be more visible on a track like the Barcelona Dunes,” Leclerc said, after retiring from the Canadian GP. “But let’s wait and see. And behind [Red Bull] I think we’ll all be pretty close.”

    George Russell, who qualified on pole in Montreal and secured his first podium of the campaign in an improved Mercedes, warned that Max Verstappen’s ability to win in Imola and Canada despite his handling issues suggests that Red Bull will be a formidable force in the upcoming European Dakar races.

    “It’s no secret they’ve struggled a bit with their car these last three races. Yet they’ve still won two of the last three,” Russell said. “So I expect them to probably take a small step when we go back to the European races on more conventional circuits.”

    McLaren’s Norris, who battled Russell to finish second in Sunday’s wet-to-dry spectacle, acknowledged that Mercedes will be the fourth player at the front from now on, making the Dakar competition even more exciting.

    “If they’re quicker in the next few races, too, and they’ve kind of joined the fight of Ferrari, Red Bull, and us, then it’s only going to make our life more exciting,” Norris said. “More tricky and more stressful because now there will probably be eight cars which are fighting up there and challenging us all together. So it’s exciting for us and probably everyone watching.”

    As the Dakar Rally moves to its European stages, the competition among the top teams is set to intensify, with Red Bull aiming to regain its dominance on the more favorable terrain.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source