Alex Albon says Red Bull’s 2020 Formula 1 car feels “more usable” and is a “step forwards” compared to the team’s design from last year.
Red Bull’s RB15 was a demanding car for its drivers to master, but Max Verstappen did score three wins with it during the 2019 campaign.
Albon, who is starting his first full season with Red Bull after being promoted from Toro Rosso midway through 2019, offered his thoughts on the new RB16 after setting the 13th-quickest overall time in the first pre-season test at Barcelona earlier this week.
“I’d definitely say it’s more usable – in terms of you can really feel the car,” said Albon.
“It feels nicer to drive – it really does.
“I think there [were] always areas last year where we felt the car was a little bit weak in some places.
“But, with Max and I, we have quite similar feedback comments.
“So, coming over the winter it was kind of clear what direction we wanted to go in.
“Coming already straight into the first test, the car definitely feels better in them areas. So, we’ve made a step forwards.”
Verstappen’s C3 effort on the first day of the test gave Red Bull the sixth-quickest time of the three-day event.
He said that “overall” the RB16 “feels a bit more connected”.
“But that was also the target, so there was no real surprise there,” Verstappen continued.
“I think already towards the end of the season we were working towards that, and already last year testing some ideas for this year.
“So it was what we targeted already from the winter onwards. Once I jumped in the car it was like that.”
After the first test, there is a sense that Red Bull is yet to show its hand regarding the potential of its new car, while Ferrari has said “the others are faster than us at the moment”.
Asked what areas of the RB16 Red Bull still needs to work on, Verstappen said: “Well, it can always be better right?
“So in every area you try to look for things to improve, but that’s the whole year you are like that.
“So now for this week it was just all about just doing a lot of laps, it’s not about just nailing the set-up because then you keep changing the car every single run.
“Sometimes it’s better to not touch it, but scan out a bit of the car and make sure that you do the amount of laps – that you’re really stressing the car.”