Red Bull technical director Jody Eginnton believes that choosing the area where teams will spend their two development tokens for this season is not key to car development and power balance between teams and that a key differentiator will continue to be aerodynamic development that remains largely unrestricted.
Due to cost reductions, a major change to the technical regulations has been postponed to 2022, and this season teams must use last year’s chassis and there is a limited range of areas they can change for 2021.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner previously revealed that the new car will inherit about 60% of the parts from last year and will therefore be called the RB16B, and changes to the rules regarding floor dimensions, diffuser strakes and aero elements around the rear brake ducts should reduce downforce around 10%.
McLaren is the only team allowed to change the chassis design so they can install new Mercedes engines after using Renault’s for the past three years and Red Bull’s Eginnton believes aerodynamic development will continue to be paramount.
“At the end of the day, aerodynamics are still not controlled by tokens,” Egginton told Motorsport.com.
“You can opt for a new nose, but the nose won’t have a decisive impact on your aerodynamic concept when almost all other parts of the regulations, except for the rear part of the floor, are the same as before.”
“You can play around with the chassis to some extent, but everyone except McLaren will keep the same power unit so their tokens will go for it because they have to install a new power unit.”
“I’m sure there is a compromise and reward in there for them, but I don’t know exactly what that will mean for them.”
“But I don’t think tokens are the factors that make a difference in terms of aerodynamic concept so aerodynamics is still a king. Everyone will spend tokens on something, but I don’t think they will be a key differentiator that will determine order.”
Honda announced last year that 2021 would be their last season in Formula 1 and Red Bull is still waiting for the FIA’s confirmation about freezing engine development from 2022, which would allow them to continue using Honda engines next year.