Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech analysis: The Red Bull imitation that surprised Vettel

The Singapore GP has always been somewhat of a happy hunting ground for Red Bull, as the tight, twisty street circuit plays into the chassis-dominated ethos that it employs.

Tech analysis: The Red Bull imitation that surprised Vettel

Dominating all of the free practice sessions, it was clear that the RB13 was not only suited to this circuit but has come on leaps and bounds throughout the season.

Teasing Adrian Newey back into the fold could be considered pivotal to this, with the aero guru's attention previously split between his commitments to Red Bull Racing and other projects, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Often considered an innovator, he also recognises the merits of taking design inspiration from others and making it work to his and his team's advantage.

As such, he's often seen wandering up and down the pitlane checking out everyone else's cars and sketching in his red notebook.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and so Ferrari should feel pleased that Red Bull has taken onboard one of its designs, something even Sebastian Vettel felt the need to highlight in his post-qualifying interview, when he jokingly proclaimed: "This is ours, looks like a copy, no?"

Red Bull RB13 and Ferrari SF70H bargeboards comparison
Red Bull RB13 and Ferrari SF70H bargeboards comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

He was, of course, talking about the new sidepod deflector that Red Bull mounted to the RB13 for Singapore.

The deflector, which does bear more than a striking resemblance to the one used by Ferrari since the start of the season, is placed in a position that many other teams have started to frequent, either in this format or in a similar multi-element fashion to what Mercedes started the season with too (below).

The inclusion of this new deflector by Red Bull has heralded several other changes as a consequence, the bargeboard has been amended, with an axehead found extending out from it (blue arrow), while the airflow conditioner that ordinarily extrudes upward from the floor (inset) is intersected by it.

Now while the Ferrari and Red Bull deflectors may initially look like twins, there is one major difference, with Red Bull opting to discard Ferrari's more blunt leading edge in favour of a leading edge slat (red arrow), which is likely a consequence of differing flow characteristics ahead, as Red Bull looks to have the deflector work across a wider speed threshold than if it had adopted the same design as Ferrari.

Mercedes W08 bargeboards
Mercedes W08 bargeboards

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The game of assimilation was not isolated to Red Bull in Singapore though, with Williams sporting a new set of deflectors that follow a similar design philosophy to Mercedes, albeit not as complex.

Williams FW40 side
Williams FW40 side

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Like Red Bull, the changes made by Williams culminated in the redesign of the airflow conditioners too, as the new configuration's forward-most deflector is anchored to floor's axehead.

This is another surface that was optimised as part of the new package and now features three distinct sections, rather than one (blue arrow).

The displacement of the airflow conditioner to a more inboard and rearward position has meant that the small slot, which mirrored the floor slot below for legality purposes, is no longer needed (inset, green arrow).

To help maintain the airflow conditioner's rigidity and also act as a vortex generator, a small vertical tab now resides atop the sidepod too (red arrow).

shares
comments
Honda spell a "proper disaster" for McLaren's image - Boullier
Previous article

Honda spell a "proper disaster" for McLaren's image - Boullier

Next article

Gallery: All teams that have run Renault engines in F1

Gallery: All teams that have run Renault engines in F1
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021