Formula One car is no slouch but Red bull RB19 is in a league of its own. This Formula One 2023 Championship season will be a fight between Perez and Max Verstappen if all goes well regarding reliability and strategy. Note: Please take the above line with a grain of salt as it’s only the start of the season, but anyone who has followed F1 before will know what I am talking about.
Over the last year, Red Bull’s advantage in their internal combustion engine (ICE) power has decreased to the point where many viewed the Honda power unit (PU) as being nearly equal to those of Mercedes, with Ferrari following closely behind.
In today’s Formula One, the top speed differential is less related to ICE power and more linked to aero drag. The zero sidepod concepts, which Mercedes employs, have consistently resulted in higher drag, as evidenced by their top speed rankings.
Red Bull RB19 Floor and Wings
It seems reasonable to suggest that the floor of the car is now a significant factor due to the latest regulations placing the main aerodynamic features there. However, it’s important to consider that the team in question had the most superior car on the grid last season, giving them an advantage in focusing on enhancing their car’s performance compared to other teams who are trying to rectify issues and bridge the gap.
The Red Bull RB19’s front wings have a low, flat profile reminiscent of the wings used in tracks like Belgium and Monza. Interestingly, this design was used successfully in both Bahrain, which features tight bends, and Jeddah, which has more flowing S-shaped bends. The Red Bull RB19’s ability to perform well on these different track profiles indicates that it benefits from a high level of “free” downforce generated by the floor and underfloor surfaces, rather than relying solely on the front wings.
Triple DRS of Red Bull RB19
In the first two Grands Prix of the year, the speed of the Red Bull RB19 with DRS open was impressive and noticed by fans and insiders. Indeed, Adrian Newey’s new car achieved a top speed of 343 km/h at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
The figure recorded by the Red Bull team, which was significantly higher than those of its competitors, is noteworthy. Haas registered a top speed of 337 km/h, while Ferrari managed 333 km/h. The most surprising aspect, however, was how easily Max Verstappen was able to overtake his rivals and recover from 15th place, even before reaching the end of the straights.
The RB19’s effectiveness on straights, both with and without DRS open, can be attributed to the coordinated package of the rear wing, beam wing, and diffuser. These three components work together in a fundamental way to optimize performance, whether on straights or when cornering.
The very flat profile of Red Bull Racing’s low downforce rear wing. When they activate DRS, the wing almost becomes a flat plane, which is in stark contrast to the McLaren or Haas wings. This could be contributing to their faster lap times.
The technical team behind the Red Bull RB19 recognized that the concept of ground-effect venturi tunnels is relatively straightforward. However, in Formula One, the key is to maximize this effect. This involves paying attention to every detail, including vanes, winglets on brake ducts, floor edges, and underfloor configuration. Fine-tuning each of these elements provides greater control and ultimately enhances the performance of the underfloor and diffuser at the rear of the car. Therefore, the beam wing is an essential piece in this intricate puzzle.
This further consolidates their position at the top and may keep them ahead of their rivals until the regulations are revised again.