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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

F1 tech review: Did Red Bull really have the best chassis?

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F1 tech review: Did Red Bull really have the best chassis?
By:
Co-author: Matthew Somerfield
Dec 29, 2018, 9:07 PM

The RB14 continued to carry the DNA of Red Bull’s previously successful cars, as it pressed on with the same title-winning chassis philosophy, only making alterations in order to comply with the prevailing regulations.

Red Bull’s belief in its ability to create the best car often led to criticism of engine supplier Renault, which has struggled in comparison to rivals under the hybrid regulations. This season can be seen as somewhat of a transitional year for Red Bull then, as it makes the switch to full-factory Honda power for 2019, a move which it hopes will truly catapult the team into a three-way battle for supremacy.

Before we get there, let’s take this opportunity to delve into the image archive and discover the technical intricacies of this year’s machine, to see what made it so good.

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Red Bull Racing RB14 front suspension and aero detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 front suspension and aero detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close-up view of the bargeboards and under-nose turning vanes show how they’re connected together in order to improve rigidity.

Halo on Red Bull Racing RB14

Halo on Red Bull Racing RB14
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull was the only team to retain a streamlined version of the halo version, opting not to use winglets or other paraphernalia in this area.

Bodywork on Red Bull Racing RB14

Bodywork on Red Bull Racing RB14
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

This image shows how far back the RB14’s sidepod inlet is, which is possible due to the overhanging bodywork seen above and below it.

Red Bull Racing RB14 mirror

Red Bull Racing RB14 mirror
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A nice view of the two-piece mirrors that the team introduced during the season, taking inspiration from title contenders Ferrari.

Mirror on Red Bull Racing RB14

Mirror on Red Bull Racing RB14
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A rear view of the assembly shows just how much more aerodynamic license became available when the mirror was considered as two separate parts.

Red Bull Racing RB14 front detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 front detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mechanics make adjustments to the RB14’s front suspension, also note the teams use of belleville springs on their ‘heave’ damper.

Red Bull Racing RB14 front suspension detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 front suspension detail
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Photo by: Sutton Images

In comparison here’s a shot of the RB14 at the early stages of the season when the team used a hydraulic ‘heave’ damper.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wheel hub

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wheel hub
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The RB14’s rear brake drum was treated to a heat-resistant surface, in order that the relationship between it and the rear wheel rim be at an optimum.

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboards

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboards
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A great side view of the RB14’s bargeboards and sidepod deflectors.

Red Bull Racing RB14's engine intake plenum

Red Bull Racing RB14's engine intake plenum
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Detached from the power unit, as the team complete a fault-finding exercise, here we can see the intake plenum, which is divided into two for each cylinder bank.

Red Bull RB14 manifold

Red Bull RB14 manifold
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Here we see how Red Bull divided up the airbox in order to feed the engine and associated ancillary coolers.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
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A top-down overview of the RB14 shows how relatively simplistic the team has tried to keep its design.

Aero paint on Red Bull Racing RB14

Aero paint on Red Bull Racing RB14
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Flo-viz paint sprayed on the underside of the RB14’s chassis, turning vanes and bargeboards.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The RB14’s diffuser sprayed with flo-viz during pre-season testing.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wing Azerbaijan GP

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wing Azerbaijan GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull used a slender rear wing for the Azerbaijan GP, featuring just two open-end style endplate louvres.

Red Bull RB14 front wing, captioned

Red Bull RB14 front wing, captioned
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team made changes to its front wing for the Spanish GP, incorporating a new endplate canard [1] and revising the shape of the endplates lower extremities [2].

Red Bull RB14 sidepods, Spanish GP

Red Bull RB14 sidepods, Spanish GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The bargeboard region also got a makeover for the Spanish GP, as the footplates were altered [1], a boomerang winglet was added [2], three additional strakes were mounted on the leading edge of the floor, taking the overall count to six and altered the slots in the edge of the floor [4].

Red Bull Racing RB14 sidepods, French GP

Red Bull Racing RB14 sidepods, French GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also made some adaptations to the RB14’s bargeboards for the French GP, altering the shape and number of the serrations and flaps atop the footplate (arrowed).

Red Bull Racing RB14 front wing, British GP

Red Bull Racing RB14 front wing, British GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Daniel Ricciardo tried several front wing flap options during the British GP, as the Australian looked to improve the car’s balance.

Red Bull Racing RB14 floor comparison, German GP

Red Bull Racing RB14 floor comparison, German GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the German GP the team had a new floor available which made use of long, fully-enclosed holes (highlighted in yellow) in the edge of the floor. The older specification is inset for comparison.

Red Bull RB14 rear wing monkey seat

Red Bull RB14 rear wing monkey seat
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

For the Hungarian GP the team opted for an extremely high downforce configuration, which consisted of not only a high angled rear wing but also a wedge-style monkey seat winglet (blue arrow) and single element T-Wing (red arrow).

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wing detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the monkey seat and T-Wing used in Hungary.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear floor detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear floor detail
23/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A look at the fully-enclosed longitudinal floor holes that run parallel to the edge of the RB14’s floor.

Red Bull RB14 rear wing, Belgian GP

Red Bull RB14 rear wing, Belgian GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In search of better straightline speed the team opted for this extremely low downforce offering at the Belgian GP.

Red Bull RB14 rear wing, Monza GP

Red Bull RB14 rear wing, Monza GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull also adopted an extremely slender rear wing for the Italian GP, the endplates of which featured no louvres.

Red Bull Racing RB14, Russian GP

Red Bull Racing RB14, Russian GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team amended its front wing design at the Russian GP, creating another slotted element at the rear of the endplate, in order to improve its outwash potential.

Red Bull Racing RB14 front wing detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 front wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

For comparison here is the older specification front wing.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear diffuser detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear diffuser detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A fantastic view of the RB14’s diffuser at the Russian GP, a design which not only featured a curved outer section but also a subtle curvature as the diffuser arched toward the central section.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear diffuser detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear diffuser detail
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Photo by: Sutton Images

For comparison here’s the diffuser with a squared-off central section.

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear floor detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 rear floor detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the two elongated holes added parallel to the floor’s edge.

Red Bull Racing RB14 floor Mexican GP

Red Bull Racing RB14 floor Mexican GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull trialled this new floor configuration in Mexico, following on from the floor test conducted by Ferrari at the US GP. Both teams were evaluating the use of vertical upstand cascades to enhance the longitudinal floor slots they sat astride.

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboard detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A great view of the RB14’s bargeboard footplate, the complexity of which increased substantially throughout the year.

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboard detail

Red Bull Racing RB14 bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A look at the RB14’s sidepod deflectors at the Brazilian GP.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing Shop Now
Author Giorgio Piola