High downforce, low drag – Redbull giving Max & Dan title shot


Brought to you by TJ13 Forensics contributer Joao Lamberio

Red Bull were one of the last teams to reveal their 2017 contender, and on unveiling there were few surprises. The retains it’s high rake angle, which squats to the ground sealing the floor and providing greater downforce.

The standout feature is the elliptical orifice protruding from the nose of the car. Red Bull have worked around the regulations in hollowing the thumb nose crash structure to allow air to pass through it, reducing drag.

Moving further down the car, the air box is similar to last years version but now has a single keel below it, most likely to further reduce drag.

In it’s current testing guise, the RB13 appears very minimalist. Red Bull pushed for these rules as it was generally accepted they would favour aero.

The car does not exhibit as much of the detailing as say, the Mercedes W08, but there is a complexity to Red Bull’s rake and how they attain their maximum downforce. With the floor being widened and the surface area increased overall, Red Bull may well be focusing in this area as it provides the biggest dividends for the least drag penalties.

The sidepods are beautifully sculpted, and in true Red Bull tradition are supremely compact and tightened towards the rear of the car. The Renault R.E17 V6 is alleged to be all new, and producing healthy figures.

However the vaunted collaboration with Mario Illien, that Red Bull pushed so hard on Renault, has now ceased.
A penny for Red Bull’s thoughts on this, also as to what Mr Illien may be doing right now [*cough*Building 9*cough*]?

Overall then, the RB13 looks a contender. It is reminiscent of the last few generations of RB and works along the lines of maximum floor and diffuser performance. They will definitely be in the mix from the early showings.

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7 responses to “High downforce, low drag – Redbull giving Max & Dan title shot

  1. That will be interesting if Ferrari fluked it again on regulation changes. If Merc & RB get things roughly right, chances are we’re in for another season of civil upheaval in Maranello.

    Great technical wrap-ups, Joao, thanks!

      • Only if they manage to get it right, something they’ve had trouble with for almost a decade. AND if they manage to start that donkey in their back. (I guess they should stock carrots if nothing else works…)

      • Let’s study the difference by analogy, shall we? Take the juncture of men’s pants and underwear…

        McLaren are like grandad walking around with his strained, supermarket-brand jocks showing up over his tracksuit waistband, tucked into his singlet.

        RBR have a studied measure of Calvin Klein boxers showing over lowrise, selvedge, expertly distressed, skinny jeans.

        So, notionally, we have similar situations but with very different results.

        If I have to pick a preference, I’ll go with the RBR look every single time (but still wonder at its effectiveness and whether everyone else thinks I just look stupid).

        …now, where’s my medication?…

  2. I wonder how hard they’ll have to work, if it turns out their suspension is illegal. They’ll need a whole new car since this one is so clean…

    • Well, they had no problems running illegal parts in the past, ahem… flexi wings… ahem, so I don’t expect they’d be averse to keep cheating if they can.

      • I think the suspension issue Ferrari raised concerns about could put paid to Red Bulls challenge this year.
        And is it cheating, taking Mercedes idea of the hydraulically reactive suspension, and implementing it to adjust ride height as Red Bull are alleged to be doing?
        I’d say so!

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