Unlike the first eight seasons, which were run under hybrid powertrain regulations, Red Bull has consistently been strong on high-speed circuits since the return of ground effects.

In Jeddah (qualifying and race) and Miami (qualifying), the RB18 team had the faster cars going through designated speed traps.

But at Monza, Red Bull is second from bottom, just 1mph ahead of the slowest Haas, while it lags behind in the straight Ferrari by 6 mph as the home team won.

Data from Motorsport.com shows that Red Bull is faster than Ferrari from the first chicane through the Curva Grande, the second chicane, the Ascari and the final corner, formerly known as the Parabolica.

However, the Ferrari deploys the battery more efficiently to achieve a higher top speed on the straights.

Red Bull technical director Pierre Vache revealed that the relatively low speeds were reduced to the deliberately higher downforce of the rear wing configuration.

Asked by Motorsport.com for an explanation, he said: “I don’t think it’s because of the engine, for sure.

“Clearly it has to do with the level of resistance we use on the car. It looks, relative to others, higher.

“As you can see, we didn’t change the rear fenders compared to the other tracks. The others were changed, and then [that impacts] maximum speed.”

This is despite Red Bull offering a low-drag rear wing with clipped flaps for the Monza and Ferrari offering a revised beam wing.

Vache added: “We have defined the season and divided the season into three back wings and we control those three back wings.

“Of course, the beam wing is part of it as well, as other teams do.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo: Glenn Dunbar / Images of motor sports

“But we’re designing the car around that for different reasons: probably for efficiency in terms of downforce. But also efficiency in terms of budget.”

Red Bull had a previous such tactic in Monza, with Sebastian Vettel winning the 2013 Italian Grand Prix by using a short seventh gear ratio and more downforce to accelerate better out of corners and spend less time on the straights despite being slower.

According to Wache, Red Bull ruled out a tune-up in response to Max Verstappen’s five-place grid penalty, with the reigning champion taking a new internal combustion engine.

According to team boss Christian Horner, this came after advice from Honda’s supplier.

He said: “We decided to accept this penalty here on the advice of our engine partner.

“Five places here is not too draconian, so adding that extra engine to our pool for the remaining seven races is what we felt was strategically the right thing to do.”

Verstappen is not expected to make any additional component changes that would result in penalties.

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