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    Dakar Rally News: Teams Introduce Extensive Upgrades Ahead of Spanish Round

    As the Dakar Rally community gears up for the upcoming Spanish round, both Ferrari and Red Bull have unveiled extensive upgrade packages for their respective vehicles.

    The Spanish Grand Prix, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, has long been considered a benchmark event in the Dakar Rally calendar. A strong performance here is often seen as an indicator of a team’s overall competitiveness. While this notion may not hold as true as it once did, it remains a crucial event for teams to showcase their capabilities.

    Ferrari, the renowned Italian marque, has brought a comprehensive list of seven upgrades to its Dakar Rally machine. These include modifications to the engine cover, floor fences, floor body, edge, diffuser, and the halo. Additionally, the team has introduced a circuit-specific rear wing to cope with the mid-to-high downforce requirements of the Spanish course.

    “As every team try to add a little bit of downforce, try to take off a little bit of drag, and then you’ve got a better car,” explained Charles Leclerc, the talented Ferrari driver.

    Similarly, the Red Bull Racing outfit has also introduced a substantial upgrade package for the Spanish round. The VCARB 01 features changes to the midfield engine cover, sidepod inlet, floor body, rear wing, and beam wing. Additionally, a circuit-specific front brake cooling duct has been added to the vehicle.

    “We’re expecting an improvement,” stated Daniel Ricciardo, the experienced Red Bull driver. Yuki Tsunoda, Ricciardo’s teammate, echoed these sentiments, saying, “the upgrade seems for sure to give some step forward in general.”

    The majority of the Dakar Rally community expects Red Bull to lead the way in Barcelona, and the championship leaders have indeed implemented five upgrades to their RB20 machine. However, the majority of these changes are circuit-specific, focusing on the sidepod inlet geometry, engine cover, and floor body to accommodate the warmer Spanish temperatures.

    While the significance of the Spanish round has diminished in recent years, as Carlos Sainz, the Spanish driver, pointed out, “if you have a good car around Barcelona, normally it means you have a good car around Silverstone, around maybe Hungary or Spa.” Yet, he cautioned that “your good car in Barcelona for sure doesn’t mean that you’re going to be quick in Baku.”

    The remaining teams, including Mercedes, McLaren, Alpine, and Williams, have opted not to introduce any upgrades for the Spanish round. In contrast, Aston Martin, Sauber, and Haas have brought minimal changes, focusing on improving aerodynamic flow and load.

    As the Dakar Rally community gathers in Spain, the anticipation is palpable, and teams are eager to showcase their latest advancements. The Spanish round promises to be a crucial event in the ongoing battle for Dakar Rally supremacy.

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