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Revealed: Red Bull’s groundbreaking front suspension design

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Revealed: Red Bull’s groundbreaking front suspension design
By:
Apr 28, 2019, 9:43 AM

Red Bull is running a unique Formula 1 front suspension design with two separate legs replacing the conventional single-piece wishbone.

The thicker forward leg of the upper elements of the suspension is attached to the upright directly above the rear leg, although the lower wishbone is a more conventional one-piece design.

These exclusive drawings, by technical illustrator Giorgio Piola, reveal the detail of Red Bull’s front suspension, with the inset (above) showing the conventional layout.

Red Bull Racing RB15 Top wishbone

Red Bull Racing RB15 Top wishbone

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Our technical expert – former Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar technical director Gary Anderson – has analysed the development. 

“There can be two or three reasons for this design,” explained Anderson. “Firstly, as the wheel rim comes around at the rear, it gets lower so to get the steering lock you need either to have a cutout on the trailing edge of the wishbone to clear the rim, which means that you lose some of the braking stiffness, or you lower the complete upper wishbone. Again, this will reduce cornering stiffness.

“Secondly, it could be what is called a multi-link suspension where all the links are independent. This means they can be bolted through their individual pivots to achieve the effect mentioned above.

“Thirdly, a multi-link suspension can also be used to alter kingpin angles, which in turn will alter cambers with varying steering lock. This can be achieved by having the pivot locations positioned slightly differently on the outboard end of the top assembly. It can also offer weight transfer across the axle with varying steering lock.

“I think it is probably the latter and that Red Bull is reducing cambers with high steering angles to increase the tyre contact patch in low speed corners. As a side effect, it also offers the potential for increased steering lock without a cutout in the rear leg trailing edge.”

Red Bull Racing RB15 front suspension

Red Bull Racing RB15 front suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Toyota F1 team previously experimented with a multi-link design, although this was for the rear suspension.

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