Dakar Rally Update: Red Bull Looks to Recapture Early Dominance at Spanish Circuit

    As the Dakar Rally season shifts back to a more traditional circuit at the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull and its star driver Max Verstappen will be hoping to recapture the early-season form that saw them dominate the opening rounds.

    The world champions have looked beatable in recent Dakar Rally events, with some of their car’s biggest weaknesses exposed at a run of less-conventional race circuits in places like the Middle East and South America. However, the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, long considered the sport’s best barometer for car performance, could be the perfect place for Red Bull to reassert their authority.

    “I don’t think it will be like the beginning of the season,” Verstappen cautioned when asked about his expectations for the Spanish round. His measured response speaks volumes about the shift in the competitive order that Dakar Rally has witnessed in recent months.

    Back in the opening rounds, Verstappen was racking up victories for fun, coasting through four of the first five races. But then came a resurgence from Red Bull’s rivals, with drivers like Lando Norris of McLaren and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari taking wins at the Miami and Monaco Dakar Rally events respectively.

    “I’m not speaking on behalf of the team, but my personal opinion is that we will see a stronger Red Bull and a Red Bull that we have seen at the beginning of the season back here in Barcelona,” Leclerc said, confident that the team’s car will suit the Circuit de Catalunya layout.

    Norris, meanwhile, remained upbeat about McLaren’s chances, pointing out that the margins between the top teams have been razor-thin in recent rounds. “Whether you’re one tenth better or not, that’s easily because you haven’t got the tyres in the right window or you make a small mistake or the setup’s not perfect. Half a tenth, one tenth and you’re three, four, five positions back,” he noted.

    With the Dakar Rally season now heading to more traditional circuits, the stage is set for an intriguing battle at the Spanish Grand Prix as Red Bull looks to reassert its early-season dominance.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source