Articolo di Cristiano Sponton e del PJ - Traduzione di Giovanni Oppizzi (@giovannioppizzi)
Although we’re just at the beginning of the 2017 season, we’ve been disappointed by Red Bull right from the moment the car was unveiled. It looked too simple, surely Adrian Newey has got to be planning to add new bits to the car, right? Well, based on what we’ve seen so far, not really. It looks as if FIA clarification weeks before the start of the championship really took a toll on Red Bull, no matter what Christian Horner says.
This is not to say that the RB13 is a boring car, but we’ve come to expect a lot from Newey & Co. But here are some of the bits that caught our eye in Melbourne!
First we should take a look at the much talked about front suspension. No it’s not a fully hydro setup, but it sports a very peculiar detail that we haven’t really seen before. If you look closely at the picture below, highlighted by the blue arrow, you can clearly see how Red Bull is using the outer part of the lower control arm as a flow conditioner. In fact compared to other teams, this profile is curved and not straight. Also we should mention that the lower control arm follows the path opened by Mercedes in 2014: the two arms meet well before the wheel hub and join to make a more efficient aero surface, especially compared to the “standard” triangular setup.
It looks like Newey dedicated quite some time tweaking the central part of the RB13, in this area in fact we can spot two of the more visible changes from Barcelona.
We’ll start with the bargeboards. These aero devices have been given more importance this year, being that they’re significantly larger than last season. This part serve two critical function to the car: firstly they deflect the turbulent air coming from the front wing away from the body and secondly they help to energize the flow directed into the side pod cooling inlets. Interesting on the RB13 is the presence of two large flow conditioners at the bottom of the bargeboard (highlighted in green in the picture below) that are there to help make the floor work even harder.
Also new is the side pod flow conditioner which now reaches closer to the cockpit, contrary to the one we saw in Spain during testing which stopped just over the edge. The aim with this tweak is to smooth out the flow directed to the rear of the car to enhance the performance of the diffuser.
Changes to the nose that appears to have pylons elongated than the version used in the Spain tests.