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Red Bull removes nose duct for Monaco GP

Red Bull has ditched its nose duct for the Monaco Grand Prix, emerging on Wednesday with a more conventional design along with small updates to the floor.

Red Bull removes nose duct for Monaco GP

The scoop was first seen on Red Bull's RB13 in 2017, and appeared to be an attempt to satisfy the FIA's regulations for the front crash structure while trying to stave off any high pressure areas produced behind it as airflow begins to detach.

Having used the scoop since then, Red Bull has now arrived at Monte Carlo with a regular 'thumb-tip' design - much like the one used back in 2016.

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While the reason for returning to that configuration is unclear, it could be that the scoop trimmed off any areas of low-pressure underneath by firing ambient air at it, subjecting it to a degree of lift.

Around Monaco, where downforce and front-end control is of paramount importance, negating any concentrations of lift should assist the driver in conducting the car through the challenging street circuit.

This was also paired up with a different specification of wing; more in line with Red Bull's early season design, the middle element does not feature the split and allows the team to curve the top element further down. This points at a further desire to tie up more downforce at the inboard section, improving response at the front end.

In addition, Red Bull has also placed a quartet of small fins on top of the floor, just next to the undercut of the sidepod. In the foreground of Giorgio Piola's image below, the abundance of bargeboard serrations show the level to which Red Bull is trying to turn airflow outwards.

Red Bull fins

Red Bull fins

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The new fins (red arrow) augment this effect, and the bottom half directs air through the slot in the floor next to them.

However, the tips incline in a different direction, working with the curved top side of the floor to bring the airflow on top of the car around the midriff of the sidepods.

Those together aim to limit the impact of the rear tyres, which kick up a large supply of turbulent air and can ultimately damage the effectiveness of downforce-producing elements at the back of the car - namely, the diffuser and associated components.

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Series Formula 1
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Author Jake Boxall-Legge
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