Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech gallery: How the Red Bull RB13 evolved throughout 2017

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Tech gallery: How the Red Bull RB13 evolved throughout 2017
Matt Somerfield
By: Matt Somerfield
Dec 25, 2017, 10:09 AM

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

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In detail

In detail
1/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

In detail

In detail
2/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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).

In detail

In detail
3/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

In detail

In detail
4/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Australian GP

Australian GP
5/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
6/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
7/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
8/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
9/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
10/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Russian GP

Russian GP
11/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Russian GP

Russian GP
12/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
13/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
14/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
15/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
16/73

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
17/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
18/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
19/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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)

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
20/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
21/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
22/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
23/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
24/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
25/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
26/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
27/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
28/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

British GP

British GP
29/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

British GP

British GP
30/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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).

British GP

British GP
31/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

British GP

British GP
32/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.

British GP

British GP
33/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
34/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
35/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
36/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
37/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
38/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
39/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Post-Hungarian GP test

Post-Hungarian GP test
40/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
41/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
42/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
43/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
44/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
45/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
46/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
47/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Italian GP

Italian GP
48/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Italian GP

Italian GP
49/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Italian GP

Italian GP
50/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
51/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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)

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
52/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
53/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
54/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
55/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
56/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
57/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
58/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
59/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
60/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The under-chassis turning vanes of the RB13.

United States GP

United States GP
61/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

United States GP

United States GP
62/73

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

United States GP

United States GP
63/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

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.

Mexican GP

Mexican GP
65/73

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

Mexican GP

Mexican GP
66/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
67/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
68/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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)

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
69/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP
70/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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).

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP
71/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

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.

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
72/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
73/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing Shop Now
Author Matt Somerfield
Article type Top List