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

Video: The aggressive changes Red Bull has made in 2018

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Video: The aggressive changes Red Bull has made in 2018
Matt Somerfield
By: Matt Somerfield
Co-author: Giorgio Piola
Mar 30, 2018, 12:11 PM

Red Bull made a big push to be early with its 2018 challenger as it bid to hit the ground running with its new RB14.

Although last year's RB13 ended the year strongly, the team readily admitted that its start to the campaign had not been as strong as it had hoped for.

Its plight had not been helped by windtunnel correlation problems, but it also had not adopted the right development approach, so lost ground against Mercedes and Ferrari.

 

Red Bull RB13 sidepods intake comparison
Red Bull RB13 sidepods intake comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

It has been much more aggressive with its car this season, and nothing highlights this more than the way it has pushed hard in the area around the sidepods.

Last year, it started the season with a very simple sloping twin element design. By the time the team had got to Silverstone it had gone through numerous iterations of bargeboard design, to arrive at something that forms the basis of what it has now.

The more complex arrangement helps with the issue of wake which is generated by the wider front tyre

In Hungary, it further introduced a revised sidepod geometry and three strakes on the leading edge of the floor, before introducing a sidepod deflector panel in Singapore which prompted Sebastian Vettel to suggest it was a direct Ferrari copy.

For 2018, the team has continued where it left off, but rather than copying Ferrari's sidepod deflectors it has forged its own path.

However, where it has drawn inspiration from the Maranello team is in placing the side impact protection spar (superimposed onto the images) into a much lower and forward position.

This has in turn allowed it to push the sidepod inlet rearward away from the turbulence of the front tyres and totally rethink the overall shape of the sidepods.

 

Red Bull RB14 deflectors, V2
Red Bull RB14 deflectors, V2

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The new multi-element deflectors (above) haven't come without their issues though, as the team quickly came to the conclusion that the whole assembly moved around too much whilst out on track, often leading to inconsistent results.

As it looked for a more long-term solution, the team opted to run some of the test without the deflectors.

 

Red Bull RB14 deflectors, V3
Red Bull RB14 deflectors, V3

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In the end, two new metal supports were added (red arrows), along with a more elegant boomerang style winglet which connects the deflector to the forwardmost section of the bargeboard.

The boomerang support winglet appears to provide its own aerodynamic improvement too and is a feature on a handful of other cars up and down the grid already.

Paired with these changes the team also mounted a pair of r-shaped cascade winglets atop the bargeboard's footplates (blue arrow) as it continues its aggressive approach to development in this area of the car.

 
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About this article

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