Did last year's Mercedes stunt give Red Bull a serious advantage this year?

Did last year’s Mercedes stunt give Red Bull a serious advantage this year?

Could Red Bull’s Secretary Be Revealed? According to Auto Motor und Sport, they got the upper hand over Ferrari with a trick that was the envy of Mercedes last year.

Ferrari’s various errors may have played a large part in the fact that Charles Leclerc used a poor percentage of his pole positions this year, but there is another reason for their poor winning rate. This year, Red Bull is consciously following the strategy of preparing its car primarily for competitions. In the person of Max Verstappen, they have a driver they can trust to be able to fight forward from even a worse starting position, and with rule changes in 2022, overtaking is already somewhat easier.

However, this tactic can depend not only on the skills of the Dutchman, but also, for example, on the fact that the RB18 has an advantage in the strait from the first race against Ferrari with greater air resistance. As is cars and sports(AMuSCalculated, on 9 of 17 tracks so far, Red Bull finished at the top of the list summarizing top speeds. Second place Williams has only 4 times. The difference between the two teams is that Groves’ straight-line speed comes at the expense of downforce, but with Red Bull there is no such thing, or at least not to that extent.

This feature has been a serious tactical advantage for Milton Keynes on several occasions. More than once it has happened that Ferrari has had to reduce downforce which is ideal in order to have a chance of defending in straights, and their tire management has suffered from that. But it also worked in the opposite direction: Red Bull, realizing its advantage, was going with a larger wing than the other wings in order to better protect the tires. At Monza, they gave a chance for this, but on Sunday they succeeded.

Max Verstappen and George Russell (Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Red Bull sits during the race – like last year’s Mercedes

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The supremacy was also evident in Singapore, where Verstappen was deeper in the field than usual in the wind and in the open DRS, and had a serious advantage in terms of top speeds with Ferrari (between 5.5 and 7.9 km/h) and Mercedes (4, 8 and 6.7 km / h) in turn.

“You can’t defend against Red Bull. They just leave their asses and fly in front of you.”

Sebastian Vettel commented on the situation, drawing attention to a trick that could play a key role in Red Bull’s top speed.

The AMuS Speaking with Aston Martin engineers, he discovered that according to them, aerodynamic efficiency isn’t the only reason behind Red Bull’s top speeds. “Look at their personal trajectory in the strait! They only won the second half of the series” said one of the specialists.

Charles Leclerc also suspects a background hoax. “This may not just be about aerodynamics. There is a mechanism behind it.” announced.

Doubt may be familiar. A year ago, around the same time of the year, Red Bull accused Mercedes of cheating. At the Turkish Grand Prix, it was notable that the stars were able to lower the back of their car on the go. At that time, they were untouchable on the Red Bull Strait. There may be a connection between the two. Red Bull admitted at the start of the year that they consciously tried to make their car faster on the straights, after the damage done in previous years. The engine power is already there, and the RB18 is aerodynamically efficient – and according to the signals, Adrian Newey studied Mercedes’ previous stunt so thoroughly that they could come up with something for 2022.

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen (Photo: XPB)

Red Bull does it better with new cars

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The AMuS He explained: Behind the “lowering” of the rear of the car is the mechanical design of the suspension, a method already used by several teams last year, but none of which was as effective as Mercedes. Until last season, Red Bull worked with a concept car that was leaning so heavily forward, making it impossible to publish a similar solution. But this year the situation changed with the suction machines, since they had to lower the belly of the car from the start.

However, there is also a reason why others lag behind in this field. The hydraulic suspension was banned this year, and it was necessary to return to the use of conventional springs, and this affected the former master of the solution, Mercedes, very sensitively. Red Bull, on the other hand, has found a solution.

Photo: XPB

Red Bull has the highest rear ground clearance, but the lowest at high speed. – The German newspaper quoted a Mercedes engineer, who indicated, however, that this method also has its drawbacks. “To do something like this with a traditional structure, you need extra space and mass. We didn’t have anything.”

Red Bull has also had problems with the fans this year, but they have had a lot of time in the second half of the year thanks to the weight loss. Their top speed brought them victories even with the heaviest and lightest cars, while they followed a path that last year’s championship battle against Mercedes would have led them.

We often hear from Ferrari how important the experience gained in championship duels is to get to the top. Evidence suggests that it can be a huge advantage even in areas we wouldn’t even think about.

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