At the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull showcased modified features to the edge wing and the diffuser of the car’s floor, innovations that were evident in other competitors’ models.
These updates were probably observed by Adrian Newey during his routine grid walks before the team from Milton Keynes added their own unique spin on a few solutions others have been utilizing for a while.
These features, already tested on rival teams, suggest that they can enhance performance without the necessity for extensive trials in CFD and the wind tunnel, as they have been in use and thoroughly optimized by several teams for quite some time.
However, applying these solutions isn’t as straightforward as simply replicating what other teams are doing.
These designs need to complement the existing structure that Red Bull has developed, with the team branching out in their development trajectory to further fine-tune these aspects as the season progresses.
Red Bull RB19 floor comparison
Photo by: Uncredited
The forward section of the edge wing already sports a C-shaped profile that resembles the cut-out in the floor below.
However, there’s a strake extending rearward beyond the edge wing, added to the upturned scroll section, designed to direct the airflow being released from the floor in this area.
The diffuser’s upper corner has also been updated with an inverse pocket structure, similar to many competitors’ designs.
This modification is a complex move as it alters not only the internal functionality of the diffuser but also the airflow behavior over the upper corner.
Red Bull RB19 diffuser corner
Photo by: Uncredited
Mercedes took what could be seen as a backward step for the Spanish Grand Prix, removing the upper slat element from its wing mirror assembly, leaving the inboard stalk mounted to the side of the mirror housing.
This alteration was made to ensure that the airflow beyond the wing mirror assembly better complements the changes made to the sidepods. The slat had previously modified the airflow around the mirror housing’s bluff body.
The team also tweaked the sidewall of the diffuser, which it claims allows greater flow into the diffuser, improving flow quality and subsequently increasing local load.
Searching for the optimal setup for the W14 while also exploring its new aerodynamic package, Mercedes tested various solutions during the free practice sessions on Friday.
Both medium and high downforce rear wings were examined, with the latter being used for qualifying and the race.
The team also experimented with a larger rear cooling outlet before reverting to a narrower version for competitive sessions.
Mercedes W14 rear wing and cooling comparison
Photo by: Uncredited
Aston Martin has kicked off this season at a strong pace, but nearby teams have made significant modifications over recent races to catch up to its performance.
The Silverstone-based squad countered with a set of new parts in Spain to maintain its advantage.
The front wing of the car was revamped as part of this update package. The span-wise distribution of the upper two flaps has been modified to be more uniform instead of having a swooped section in front of the front tire.
This aligns better with designs seen on other cars across the grid and opens up further development opportunities for the wing’s outboard section, with changes made to the flap and endplate juncture.
The second, third, and fourth elements have been adjusted and twisted away from the endplate to create more outwash than the previous setup.
The new design uses a notch like the one seen on the third flap of the old configuration, but it’s now further forward on the second element.
In reaction to these changes to the front wing, the angle of the camera pods on the nose sides has been adjusted, given that the incoming airflow has changed.
There are additional improvements at the rear of the car to the latest rear wing specification, with the main changes already tested in Monaco.
These include a different attachment method for the endplate’s tip section, as it now sits inboard and turned inward, instead of merging with the endplate’s outer edge.
This change will affect the pressure gradient and consequently, the vorticity of the tip vortex.
The endplate’s inboard geometry has also been altered, with a similar but more sharply angled swage line to the one used on the outer face.
Like the changes to the upper tip section, this will not only have direct aerodynamic effects but will also impact the surrounding surfaces. The beam wing has been modified to benefit from this.
Aston Martin AMR23 halo winglets
Photo by: Uncredited
Not included in the car presentation submission, and only briefly tested, were two additional guide vanes on top of the halo.
The team will likely introduce a more sophisticated version of these in upcoming races to modify the airflow around the safety structure and enhance performance downstream.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Red Bull F1 Performance Enhancements
What changes did Red Bull make to their F1 car at the Spanish Grand Prix?
Red Bull implemented modifications to the edge wing and the diffuser of the car’s floor, adopting innovations that were visible in other competitors’ models. These changes were adapted to work in tandem with the existing structure that Red Bull has developed.
Who spotted the changes used by the other teams?
Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s renowned designer, is likely the person who observed these changes during his routine grid walks.
What does the modification to the diffuser’s upper corner involve?
The upper corner of the diffuser has been modified with an inverse pocket structure, which is similar to many competitors’ designs. This change affects not only the internal functionality of the diffuser but also the behavior of the airflow over the upper corner.
How has Mercedes adjusted their approach for the Spanish Grand Prix?
Mercedes removed the upper slat element from its wing mirror assembly, which was done to better complement the changes made to the sidepods. They also modified the sidewall of the diffuser, which they claim allows a greater flow into the diffuser, improving flow quality and subsequently increasing local load.
What updates did Aston Martin make to their front wing?
Aston Martin revamped the front wing of their car as part of an update package. The span-wise distribution of the upper two flaps has been modified to be more uniform, aligning better with designs seen on other cars across the grid. They have also adjusted the second, third, and fourth elements to create more outwash than the previous setup.