Red Bull Racing has won all Formula One races in 2023 and given the strength of their RB19 car they could win the remaining sixteen. Much has been written about Red Bull’s ‘secret’ particularly given their straight line speed with the DRS deployed.
Lewis Hamilton claimed when passed by Verstappen in Jeddah, “I’ve never seen a car so fast.”
W14 craned away
Red Bull ‘secret’ speed
“When we were fast we weren’t that fast. That’s the fastest car I’ve seen compared to the rest, I don’t know why or how but he came past me with serious speed.
Hamilton of course drove one of the statistically most dominant cars ever to compete in F1 in the 2016 season’s Mercedes W7 car. The team won 19 from 21 races with a percentage win rate of 90.5%, but it was Nico Rosberg who became the champion.
The team with the biggest number of percentage wins is still McLaren who in 1988 won 15 from 16 races with a win percentage of 93.8%.
The infamous MP4/4 was designed by Steve Nichols and the combination with the Honda powered V6 turbo engine propelled Ayrton Senna to the driver’s title with 8 wins against team mate Alain Prost’s 7.
RB19 underfloor detail compared to mercedes above
Newey wants the most dominant F1 car record
Whist Adrian Newey has won pretty much every accolade in Formula One, he has not designed the most dominant car for a season – yet.
Red Bull would need to win 21 or the 22 races now remaining in 2023 to beat the record of McLaren’s 1988 MP4/4.
Yet with their handicapped aero testing development schedule this year, it is still a long haul for the current world champions to break the all time dominant car in a season statistic.
Monaco will have hurt Red Bull’s quest somewhat following the crash of Sergio Perez. Unlike anywhere else Formula One races, the principality has giant cranes around the track that can haul broken cars away quickly.
Monaco gives unique views of cars
Yet the steep topography often means the cars are lifted 10’s of metres in the air to the place of safety behind the barriers.
This happened over the weekend to each of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes and the resulting photographers spy shots of the underfloors of the car are already making their way into the analysts articles.
The car designs from 2022 now rely on the underfloor for around 50% of their downforce and clearly Red Bull has mastered this given their dominance.
Now all the other teams have for the first time been able to spy in full the layout of the underfloor of the RB19.
Kravitz “its a thing of wonder”
Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz explains the importance of this revelation
“Thanks to Sergio Perez, the whole of Formula One has seen the fabled Red Bull floor.
“Go onto the internet and see for yourself, it is a thing of wonder and beauty especially when you compare it to the floor of the Mercedes and the Ferrari, which we also saw up on cranes so we got a full view of it this weekend.
Competition look “prehistoric”
In a damning conclusion of Ferrari and Mercedes underfloor airflow channels Kravitz states, “They look prehistoric.”
“Even the little guide fences have got guide fences of their own on the Red Bull!
“It’s so complex in three dimensions – not only in elements coming down but then curling round and it’s got circles where the vortex start and then the vortices are generated midway through the floor. “Then what they’re doing with the area under the crash structure and the gearbox as well.
“I tell you when you look at these pictures and compare them to the Mercedes and Ferrari you think ‘okay, no wonder this Red Bull RB19 is so good’.
“They’ll hate it of course. But hey blame Sergio Perez, it’s not our fault we can see the pictures of it.”
Horner plays down exposure
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner sought to play down the the fact his team’s car had been so obviously exposed.
“It has been a bit of a show and tell from all the teams, everybody has been up in the air at some point.
“It’s the same for everyone.”
Spy shots “common practice”
In an attempt at humour Horner quipped, “It is very rude to look up people’s skirts.”
“I think pictures get taken in and around the paddock, they arrive in vans and work on the cars with shutters up. Each team will be employing spy photographers to get pictures of the cars when they’re in parts and pieces.
“That’s common practice, so I wouldn’t have thought it is the first time a picture of the floor… it is probably the first time it has been suspended from a crane, but I think all teams are always striving for that intelligence.”
The RB18 floor was captured this time last year in Monaco following another Perez crash in practice.
“Difficult to copy”
As TJ13 reported yesterday, Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson suggested the revelation of the Red Bull underfloor may not be the quick fix the other teams really need to catch the world champions.
“It’s [the under floor] so complex that on a 2D photo, because of the way the light is, it’s so curved, you can’t figure any of it out,” he said.
“I guess it’s just coincidental they do it all like that because that’s how they get the downforce. But it doesn’t half make it difficult to copy!”
Of course the huge difference from prehistoric to modernity as Kraviz describes the difference in design will send the rest of the paddock scurrying to develop ideas around the Red Bull theme.
Damning verdict on RB19
Some might see as damning verdict, but according to former F1 driver Juan Pablo Motoya, pretty much anyone currently on the grid would be perfectly capable of becoming champions behind the wheel of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull RB19.
Since the start of the 2023 season, Max Verstappen has taken ten victories from the twelve races already contested (the other two were won by his team-mate Perez, editor’s note), which puts the Dutchman in a very comfortable position in the world championship with a 125-point lead over his team-mate.
Asked for his opinion on Max Verstappen’s performance since the start of the 2023 season, Jaun Pablo Montoya believes that the Dutchman is making all the difference to his rivals because he is at the wheel of THE best single-seater on the grid and that at least “seven or eight drivers” would be capable of doing the same if they had the same car as him.
“At the moment he’s doing a very good job, but he looks just as invincible as when Hamilton was winning everything [with Mercedes], that’s the reality,” said Montoya in an interview with Semana.com.
“Max is a very good driver, but so far he’s in the best car. Max’s speed at the moment isn’t better than Max’s speed two years ago, it’s probably the same. It’s just that the car is more competitive.”
“If you take Max out of this car, there are about seven or eight drivers who could be world champions in this car. If he wasn’t here, Checo [Sergio Perez], Hamilton, Sainz, Leclerc would be champions.”
“That’s the timing of motorsport. It’s not just the driver, it’s also the machine you have and the chance to have a fast car. The Red Bull under these regulations is the best car, so when the rules change, that won’t be the case any more.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 27, 2023