One MotoGP Team Gets An F1 Makeover
KTM Working With Red Bull for MotoGP 2023
Earlier this year, Autosport magazine reported that KTM has been working closely with the energy drinks giant, Red Bull. According to sources, the project aims to develop an aerodynamics programme for MotoGP 2023. Notably, KTM is already in collaboration with Red Bull in the F1 championships where the Red Bull KTM team races. It should be no surprise then that the two camps would eventually join hands for the MotoGP as well.
KTM was able to shell out two victories during the 2022 season of Moto GP, thanks to a stunning performance by Miguel Oliveira. Unfortunately for KTM, the racer has now shifted to the RNF Aprillia team for 2023. With his help, KTM scored its highest-ever points tally in the constructors' standings and finished fourth at the end.
However, Pit Beirer admitted that they were not able to do everything they wanted on the aerodynamic aspect of the bike. At least, not as much as their fellow teams, Aprillia and Ducati, Beirer stated.
KTM In War Mode for 2023
KTM has now taken steps to amend this loophole by partnering with the Red Bull F1 team. The two companies are working at the Milton Keynes base in the UK. Supposedly, it is to develop the aerodynamics for the RC16 for the upcoming 2023 season.
Beirer spoke to Autosport and had this to say: "How to integrate is quite simple: they develop an aerodynamic package and we put it on the bike.
"I will not tell you any details about how we work, but I can tell you it's been an amazing experience for us.
Beirer appreciated the talent pool they found at the Red Bull factory and said that the overall experience has been a breath of fresh air for KTM. "…it's been so refreshing and the ideas they have, the professional working style and the pure knowledge is incredible."
Beirer seems to be enjoying himself immensely as previous challenges are now being mended systematically. "So, we enjoy that relationship a lot. That's not to fix one quick thing, it's definitely a long-term programme where they are going to help us develop the aero of the bike.
"So, I'm very happy and I feel this is an important part of our future puzzle to have them on our side.
Is it Red Bull or KTM then?
The project, of course, has Red Bull's name on the mast. However, Beirer attests that both teams are working together on the project. He says that KTM's decision to import technology has been a novel experience for the whole team. He calls the experience, "fantastic", for his team.
Is F1 Gradually Taking Steps into MotoGP?
F1 has been silently making its presence felt in the last few years inside MotoGP. The most important example of this shift would be Aprillia's current CEO, Massimo Rivola, who was a sporting director at Ferrari previously. Under Rivola's guidance, Aprillia has brought in quite a few engineers from the F1 camps into their various projects.
Even at Yamaha, Aprillia has used former F1 engine chief, Luca Marmorini to aid in the development of the new engines for 2023.
Moreover, this is quite unsettling for some people since F1 and MotoGP have always been seen as two separate divisions. This is because the systems needed to develop a MotoGP bike and an F1 car are drastically different. Thus, Beirer notes that MotoGP teams cannot embrace F1 engineers and technology due to the associated costs. Moreover, MotoGP needs to retain its identity and not become a subordinate F1 machine.
"We must be careful because in Formula 1 you can put one extra zero to any project at least," he added.
Same But Not Quite The Same!
Thus, the two divisions work on completely different budgets and manpower. The difference could be as drastic as 10 to 100. Thus, the consequences of both processes are very different from each other.
"We must be very careful because looking over an F1 project as a MotoGP manager is like a kid in a candy store. Everything you see is so cool and so professional and you want to bring it in. But if you bring it in, to bring in every detail, you need 10 times the budget."
Therefore, Beirer feels that organizers must be realistic and be careful not to ape F1 in MotoGP.
"It's a different world. Formula 1 is Formula 1, and I think MotoGP should not compete with Formula 1."
Thus, even though Beirer is really excited to have some F1 specialists in the paddock, he advises caution as well.
"We are all racing maniacs, they love motorcycle racing, we love Formula 1. Yes, it's nice to have these F1 people in the paddock but we must be careful about the money we use."