Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech gallery: How the Red Bull RB13 evolved throughout 2017

A selection of the best technical images of Red Bull’s 2017 challenger, the RB13, courtesy of Giorgio Piola, Sutton Images and LAT images.

In detail

In detail
1/73

A glimpse at the rear of the RB13’s steering wheel shows the position and shape of the various gearshift and clutch paddles.

Photo by: Sutton Images

In detail

In detail
2/73

An overview of the RB13’s nose hole, which takes air in and ejects it straight out of the rearward hole, as the team tries to neutralise the nose tip from an aero point of view. The ‘S’ duct is fed airflow from the two Naca-style ducts either side of the nose (blue arrows).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In detail

In detail
3/73

The initial floor utilised by Red Bull featured this large cutout (highlighted in yellow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In detail

In detail
4/73

Red Bull’s rear wheel rim, which features a succession of horizontal ribs, not only has thermal transfer benefits between it and the tyres but also has an aerodynamic impact with air moving through the rim altered by the ribs.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Australian GP

Australian GP
5/73

Changes made to the airflow conditioner included a revised position at their base and the introduction of a triangular flap that traverses the width of the sidepod, rather than just arching over the shoulder. Extra detail was also added to the bargeboard's footplate.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
6/73

A revised turning vane design, with a division of the surface into two distinct elements, the forwardmost of which also has a slot in the footplate

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
7/73

In comparison, here is the turning vane design employed prior to China.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
8/73

The RB13 stripped down gives us insight into the installation of the power unit and cooling ancillaries.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
9/73

Flo-viz painted on the front wing has migrated downstream onto the suspension and bargeboards.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
10/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Russian GP

Russian GP
11/73

Front wing deflection tests were conducted by the team using chequered stickers on the endplates, lower section of the flap tunnel, strakes, flap adjustment and cascade (circled). A camera mounted on the nose monitors their movement during the course of a lap.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Russian GP

Russian GP
12/73

A sensor is mounted on the floor ahead of the rear tyre.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
13/73

A much more complex bargeboard configuration was put into use in Spain, as the designers started to work the airflow around the sidepods and leading edge of the floor much harder. The leading edge of the first section of the bargeboard was brought forward, the footplate made much more complex and an additional horizontal vane was hung midway up the surface of the main bargeboards that straddled the second element.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
14/73

The team revised the connecting point and width of the sidepod airflow conditioner slat in Spain.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
15/73

Mechanics making some hasty repairs/modifications to the rear wing endplate louvres.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
17/73

A high-downforce rear wing, with a steep angle of attack and four open-ended endplate louvres.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
18/73

Note the vertical slot in the leading edge of the endplate (red arrow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
19/73

Red Bull tested but didn’t race a variation on the aero solutions around the sidepod in Canada - a detached sidepod conditioner (blue arrow), three vortex generators on the sidepod's shoulder (red arrows) and a wider cockpit canard (white arrow)

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
20/73

Looking back at the bargeboards, we can see the width of the horizontal canard that was added.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
21/73

A close-up of the floor's boomerang extension and the shape of the flow conditioner's fixing point.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
22/73

A rear view of the front wing, showing the detail of the strakes that populate its underside and the nose which features three separate channels for the elongated ‘S’ duct.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
23/73

Changes made to the bargeboards included a different surface material on the upper edge of the main bargeboard and a change in shape for the secondary element.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
24/73

A lower-downforce rear wing for Azerbaijan, with less angle of attack and only two open ended louvres in the endplate.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
25/73

A close-up of the two-element T-wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
26/73

One of the Red Bull mechanics takes a picture on his phone of the front brake duct fin, which was painted in flo-viz

Photo by: Sutton Images

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
27/73

A close-up of the outer corner of the diffuser.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
28/73

A close-up of the front wing shows the height of the Gurney placed on the upper flap's trailing edge.

Photo by: Sutton Images

British GP

British GP
29/73

The team revised the floor boomerang (red arrow) for the British GP, increasing its overall height and optimising its shape.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

British GP

British GP
30/73

Red Bull made changes to its front wing for the British GP, removing the vertical slot in the endplate (yellow highlight) and raising the footplate arc (red arrow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

British GP

British GP
31/73

Daniel Ricciardo’s stricken RB13 is loaded onto the back of a recovery truck. Note the under wing strake detail, the horizontal winglets at rear of the turning vanes, the slots in the side of the floor

Photo by: Sutton Images

British GP

British GP
32/73

Flo-viz paint was applied to the underside of the front wing to assess whether the performance shown in Red Bull's simulation tools correlated with on-track data.

Photo by: Sutton Images

British GP

British GP
33/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
34/73

Red Bull made several changes to the RB13 in Hungary, including the creation of a new sidepod inlet shape (see inlet for comparison) and the addition of three strakes on the leading edge of the upturned floor, used to tidy up any turbulence and reenergise the airflow for better performance downstream.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
35/73

Red Bull chose to modify their turning vanes, adding a longitudinal flap on the outer edge of the footplate (arrowed).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
36/73

The ever more complex area around the sidepods, including the updated inlet and leading edge to the floor.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
37/73

The RB13’s front brake duct assembly, note the various inlets being employed to cool different components within the brake assembly, including the disc and caliper.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
38/73

Flo-viz painted onto the rear wing of Daniel Ricciardo’s car as the team studied the behaviour of the wing in combination with the monkey seat.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
39/73

A shot of the turning vanes before they are fitted to the underside of the chassis.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Post-Hungarian GP test

Post-Hungarian GP test
40/73

Red Bull tested a revised diffuser in Hungary, which featured a more outwardly curved profile at the outer edges.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
41/73

The Red Bull drivers decided to balance their RB13s differently for the challenges of Spa, with their front wings' upper flaps cut accordingly.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
42/73

A close-up of the Red Bull’s front wing endplate, complete with vertical slot and upturned footplate.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
43/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
44/73

The under-nose/chassis turning vanes were improved to include the longitudinal vane on the outer edge of the footplate.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
45/73

Note the three strakes added to the leading edge of the upturned floor.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
46/73

The floor of the car shows the longitudinal floor slot and three strakes added to the front edge of the upturned floor.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
47/73

In this shot of a disassembled rear brake assembly, note the use of different surface materials in order to manage the differing temperatures.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Italian GP

Italian GP
48/73

A comparison of the two low-downforce wings utilised by Red Bull in Belgium and Italy. Note the slightly less extreme angle of attack in Belgium saw the rear wing paired with two endplate louvres (highlighted in yellow), while the Italian GP version had none.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Italian GP

Italian GP
49/73

A close-up of the RB13’s third or ‘heave’ suspension element. Note the use of Belleville washer springs.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Italian GP

Italian GP
50/73

Red Bull conducted its own deflection tests in Italy, using a series of chequer-style reference points on the endplate in order that a hi-speed camera mounted on the nose could look across and capture footage of the endplate's movement.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
51/73

Red Bull introduced these Ferrari-esque sidepod deflectors in Singapore. The main differences are the support structures which connect them to their respective flow conditioners and, in Red Bull’s case, the slat mounted ahead (red arrow)

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
52/73

Flo-viz painted on the slotted, double-element, hooped T-wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
53/73

A close-up of the floor slots ahead of the rear tyre.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
54/73

Flo-viz painted on the new sidepod deflectors as the team confirms that the aero surfaces are doing as expected.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
55/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
56/73

Peering into the distance, we can see the slots placed in the floor ahead of the rear tyre.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
57/73

These twin mirror supports were introduced in Hungary. Note the thermal imaging camera embedded in the mirror housing, which monitors the front tyre.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
58/73

A look at the teardrop-shaped blisters on top of the RB13’s diffuser, which change the flow characteristics over that section of the floor.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
59/73

A close-up of the sidepod deflector introduced in Singapore.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
60/73

The under-chassis turning vanes of the RB13.

Photo by: Sutton Images

United States GP

United States GP
61/73

The RB13’s diffuser features a multi-element Gurney arrangement, which not only trims the upper edge of the diffuser but also the vertical walls.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

United States GP

United States GP
62/73

A close-up of the front brake drum and blown axle outlet.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

United States GP

United States GP
63/73

The wheel rim placed on the wheel hub without a tyre to check clearance tolerances.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

United States GP

United States GP
64/73

A close-up of the flo-viz paint on the diffuser, giving a visual account of what the airflow is doing as it passes over the various surfaces.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Mexican GP

Mexican GP
65/73

The front brake duct is fed air to normalise temperatures ahead of the car heading to the circuit.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Mexican GP

Mexican GP
66/73

The RB13 outfitted with a high-downforce set-up rear wing and twin-element hooped T-wing complete with slots in the leading edge. At sea level teams would select similar downforce levels as they do in Azerbaijan, but such is the difference at high altitude that they’re forced to max out their selections.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
67/73

The footplate design used by Red Bull throughout 2017 with the front end lifted (arrowed).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
68/73

For several races, Red Bull used some of its free practice running to evaluate a new front suspension layout, complete with a different anchor point on the upright (arrowed)

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
69/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP
70/73

Red Bull tested a new front wing, which features several more conventional design elements. Note the use of downturned flap tips (arrows), when compared with the upturned design used throughout 2017. The outboard section of the wing was much wider (highlighted with a yellow line), while a less complex canard was employed (circled).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP
71/73

A close-up of the rearmost element of the bargeboard, its flootplate and the axehead extension that protrudes from it. Note also the slatted and louvred deflector introduced in Singapore.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
72/73

A pair of kiel probe arrays are mounted behind the front wheels of the RB13 to measure the wake being generated.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
73/73

A kiel probe array is mounted at the rear of the RB13 to study the impact of the rear tyre wake and its interaction with the diffuser.

Photo by: Sutton Images
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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Top List
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis