Red Bull’s New F1 Sidepods: A Closer Look at the Changes
As expected, Red Bull’s latest revisions to their F1 sidepods encompass all the essential components, including the inlet, the undercut, and the bodywork contours.
During this season’s development, the team focused on the size and shape of the inlet. They introduced a shallower yet wider variant at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the recent upgrade at the Hungaroring takes it a step further. The new “letterbox-style” approach is even shallower while maintaining some volume by being slightly wider.
This design change has a noticeable impact on the size of the undercut, exposing more of the sidepod’s bodywork to airflow. The underbite’s lip now projects further forward with a larger radius on the leading edge. This curvature is due to the arched-down upper platform, which backfills the airflow into the inlet, creating the visual illusion of a smaller inlet from certain angles. Additionally, the leading edge is now swept rearwards in the outer portion to meet regulations.
These alterations likely provide better protection for the flow approaching the inlet, minimizing turbulence generated by the front tire. This concept, first introduced by Ferrari in 2017, involves a low-slung SIS position enabling the periscope-like inlet position.
Internally, Red Bull has made changes to the shape of the ducting, position of coolers, and other ancillaries housed within. These modifications allow for the revision of the bodywork shape forming the undercut and sidepod’s flank, working in conjunction with the inlet changes.
A minor tweak has been made to the wing mirror housing, introducing an indentation where it connects with the horizontal stay. This alteration affects the airflow’s behavior around the assembly and has downstream consequences.
Unlike some predictions, Red Bull has not pursued the waterslide solution seen in other teams. Instead, they have refined the existing contours, retaining the swageline along the bodywork’s flank and the simplistic downwash-style ramp.
Given the demands of the Hungaroring track, Red Bull has increased cooling in the bodywork. They have added a small cooling panel atop the sidepod and installed more generous cooling gills on the shoulder of the engine cover shelf, along with a larger downward-facing outlet ahead of the forward upper arm of the rear wishbone.
There’s also a change in approach to the size and shape of the shark fin. Its relationship with the cutout in the engine cover’s spine has been refined, along with a more aggressive downward turn of the cooling outlet beneath it.
Overall, Red Bull’s new F1 sidepods represent a combination of refined design choices, allowing for improved airflow management and cooling performance while adhering to the latest regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Aerodynamic performance.
What changes have been made to Red Bull’s new F1 sidepods?
Red Bull’s new F1 sidepods have undergone several changes, including a shallower and wider inlet design, exposed bodywork for increased airflow, and improved cooling. The lip of the underbite has been extended forward with a larger radius on the leading edge. The concept involves a low-slung SIS position that enables the periscope-like inlet position, first introduced by Ferrari in 2017. Internally, the team has made adjustments to the ducting, cooler positioning, and other ancillaries for better aerodynamics. The wing mirror housing has been slightly modified to alter the airflow’s behavior. Despite some predictions, Red Bull chose not to pursue the waterslide solution adopted by other teams. Instead, they refined existing contours for improved performance on the track.
What impact do the changes to the sidepods have on aerodynamics?
The changes to Red Bull’s F1 sidepods have a significant impact on aerodynamics. The shallower and wider inlet design, along with exposed bodywork, allows for better airflow efficiency and reduces turbulence caused by the front tire. The extended lip and larger radius on the underbite’s leading edge further enhance aerodynamic performance. Additionally, the arched-down upper platform backfills airflow into the inlet, creating the illusion of a smaller inlet from certain angles, which contributes to improved aerodynamics.
Why did Red Bull choose not to pursue the waterslide solution for their sidepods?
Despite speculation, Red Bull opted not to pursue the waterslide solution adopted by other teams. Instead, they chose to refine the existing contours of their sidepods. While the waterslide solution may have its benefits, Red Bull likely found that their revised design, along with aerodynamic tweaks, offered satisfactory performance improvements without the need for a complete overhaul.
How does the sidepod cooling compare to previous versions?
Red Bull’s new F1 sidepods feature more generous cooling gills installed on the shoulder of the engine cover shelf and a larger downward-facing outlet ahead of the forward upper arm of the rear wishbone. The team has also added a small cooling panel atop the sidepod. These modifications provide enhanced cooling capabilities compared to previous versions, enabling the car to manage heat more effectively during races.
What other changes were made to the car’s design apart from the sidepods?
In addition to the sidepod changes, Red Bull made several other design tweaks. They adjusted the wing mirror housing, adding an indentation where it connects with the horizontal stay to alter the airflow’s behavior. The relationship between the shark fin and the cutout in the engine cover’s spine was refined, and the cooling outlet beneath it was turned down more aggressively. Internally, the team made alterations to the shape of the ducting, coolers, and other ancillaries for better aerodynamic performance.
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