Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form

Red Bull thinks ride height compromises all teams were forced to make because of Eau Rouge were behind Max Verstappen’s dominance of Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form
Listen to this article

The world champion was in a class of his own at Spa-Francorchamps as he was fastest in qualifying and then charged from 14th on the grid to dominate the race.

The scale of Red Bull's advantage in Belgium left rivals scratching their heads, as the team had been fairly level-pegged with Ferrari in pure pace terms throughout much of 2022.

But while theories of Red Bull gaining from introducing a lightweight chassis were ruled out, the Milton Keynes-based squad did point to one element that appeared to have played especially into its hands.

With teams having to run at a higher ride height range at Spa, because cars cannot run too close to the ground because the compression at Eau Rouge risks the floors hitting the track, it meant some of the RB18's strengths were exaggerated.

In particular, it appears that while Ferrari and Mercedes produce more downforce when running as close to the ground as possible, Red Bull can still achieve peak levels when running higher.

That element, allied to its car being so strong on straightline speed, meant Red Bull lost less running higher, and it was in a different league at the Belgian circuit.

Team boss Christian Horner said: "I think this circuit has played to our strengths. We have a very efficient car, we've found a very good set-up. Max has just been in phenomenal form, since the very first lap in P1."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, kicks up sparks

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, kicks up sparks

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Responding to the rumours before the weekend about Red Bull unleashing a lightweight car, Horner said: "No, we didn't bring it. And no we don't have one...so no, it wasn't a factor in the performance.

"I think a lot was made and a lot of expectation was placed on that [porpoising] TD, and arguably perhaps it's hurt others more than its hurt ourselves.

"But we haven't really changed how we operate the car. Obviously, grounding here is always an issue because of Eau Rouge. But that's not unique to us. That's the same for every team.

"But I think we've seen that already this year we've run a higher ride height. Our philosophy is probably slightly different to some of the other. Maybe we'll get a TD for the next race that [says] we [have] got to run much lower."

Lightweight chassis

Although Horner dismissed the idea of Red Bull having introducing a lightweight chassis for Spa, he was coy on the possibility of the team working on such a plan.

Red Bull has battled against the minimum weight limit all season, but has been able to make solid progress to get within a few kilogrammes of where it ideally wanted to be.

Asked about the possibility of Red Bull bringing a lighter chassis in the next two or three races – with Singapore having been singled out as a possible point to debut it – Horner was very careful with his words.

"There's no...these chassis will run for the next few races," he said.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

How Ocon pulled off his Hakkinen-style Spa F1 double overtake
Previous article

How Ocon pulled off his Hakkinen-style Spa F1 double overtake

Next article

F1 to trial DRS through Zandvoort banking in Dutch GP FP1

F1 to trial DRS through Zandvoort banking in Dutch GP FP1
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022