What Verstappen's scenic tour revealed about Red Bull's secrets

Formula 1 teams go to great lengths to keep their design ideas secret from rivals, but sometimes events beyond their control end up revealing everything.

What Verstappen's scenic tour revealed about Red Bull's secrets

Last weekend, as Max Verstappen limped along the main straight with a broken driveshaft during Friday's second free practice session at Imola, little did he know that his Red Bull would end up on a magical mystery tour of the city as it was returned to the garage.

Having run over a kerb late in the lap, the car had hit trouble and, lacking drive, Verstappen stopped just beyond the pit exit.

However this left the car in a difficult place to recover. So a decision was made to load the car onto a flatbed truck and send it back to the Red Bull garage via the public roads that surround the circuit.

That trip wasn't exactly ideal for Red Bull.

Firstly the detour to get back to the paddock was a lengthy one, which meant there wasn't enough time for repairs to send Verstappen back out again.

But perhaps worse than that was the fact that the car was left fully exposed as it was loaded on to the truck, for the team's mechanics were not dispatched out to use the normal covers.

It wasn't lost on Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko about how some of the team's rivals would have loved to get a good look at the RB16B.

"The car only made it back to the paddock via a lot of detours. We thought it might go to Maranello," he quipped.

Read Also:

But while the car did not actually make it to Ferrari's factory, several photographers were at hand to get a close up look at the machine as it was hoisted off the ground and onto the recovery truck.

As Giorgio Piola's pictures show, this moment gave us a glimpse of a part of the car that's rarely visible, with the floor, its transition and the diffuser all on show.

Here then we look at what secrets were revealed as Verstappen's car was carried away.

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The close up shows how the team has continued to mount winglets on the lower half of the rear brake duct fence, albeit they're much narrower to comply with the new regulations.

Meanwhile, it's also worth noting how much effort the team has made to maintain the integrity of the diffuser's shape, with the rivets that hold the metal support on the other side of the three Gurney-like extensions visible and the lower section of the outermost extension given a metal finish.

Red Bull Racing RB16B floor detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B floor detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

With the car on the recovery truck, Piola was also able to get closer to the car than has been the case of late, owing to the COVID protocols. He was able to snap this shot of one of the important areas of the car, given the latest regulation changes.

Red Bull is one of seven teams to be using the Z-Shaped floor cutout, with the team using an array of aerodynamic tricks ahead of it to help improve flow to the rear of the car.

The five fins and the large strake (white arrows) are all angled out toward the edge of the floor to help coerce the airflow's direction as it passes down the length of the car and entwine the flow structure that they create with the one created by the floor cutout.

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wheel detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wheel detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The red flag period during the race also provided Piola with an opportunity to capture further images that reveal some of the car's design secrets, with this shot of the rear end without the wheel mounted affording us the opportunity to look at the rear brake duct, the design of the floor strakes mounted ahead and the edge of the diffuser.

You'll note how the team has enlarged the aperture in the upright during their redesign of the rear suspension during the winter, plus how various outlets are present in the brake drum in order to release the heat generated by the brakes into the void between it and the wheel rim.

These outlets are placed about the drum so heat can be radiated into the wheel and as a consequence the tyre in a specific way. This is in order to control the bulk temperature of the tyre and improve performance and reduce wear.

The edge of the floor and primary outboard strake are also one surface, rolled up in a very specific way in order to induce the flow structure that's desired, with a deliberate but subtle upswept section at the rear of the floor (red arrow).

The innermost Gurney-like diffuser extension also reaches forward to help encourage an interaction and enforce the work being done on the edge of the diffuser's wall (blue arrow).

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine: Imola F1 car updates may be stronger at other circuits
Previous article

Alpine: Imola F1 car updates may be stronger at other circuits

Next article

Mazepin surprised by F1's level of intensity

Mazepin surprised by F1's level of intensity
The combination behind the Silverstone battles that showed "F1 at its best" Prime

The combination behind the Silverstone battles that showed "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner.

How Ferrari's Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Prime

How Ferrari's Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors that won Sainz a British GP he’d twice lost Prime

The five factors that won Sainz a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston's latest F1 copycat saga Prime

Why there was no case to answer in Aston's latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Prime

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022