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28 Jun 2014


Red Bull can surely stake a claim for the best chassis on the 2014 grid with Mercedes coming in a close second but with a powerunit deficit they're still pushing for more efficiency/downforce.

Red Bull's greatest asset over the last few seasons has been controlling the way in which the diffuser is sealed, clearly making huge strides with exhaust blowing to magnify this. With the exhaust placed along the cars centreline this season, sealing the diffuser by this method is all but impossible, but the teams still want to do their best to seal the diffusers edges to maximise downforce. 


One of the largest factors in their quest to 'seal' the diffuser is the way in which the tyres squirt airflow laterally into the diffusers path under deformation, leading to inconsistent levels of downforce. The teams have been managing this for several seasons now with cuts, slots and strakes ahead of the rear wheels, designed to roll up and vorticise the airflow in that region, reducing the effects of 'tyre squirt'. Several races ago Red Bull redesigned their tyre squirt slots ahead of the rear wheels with a dog legged section cut out, for Austria the team arrived with a new vertical strake design. Split into two sections, the rearward strake also has a scroll on its top edge, these strakes will work together to roll up the airflow into a vortex and reduce the impact the tyres deformation has during cornering on the diffuser.

At their home circuit the team decided to once again utilise the upper Y100 Winglet/Monkey Seat that they employed in Monaco.

They also re-introduced the small vortex generators at the leading edge of the diffuser. These small devices help to overcome the diffusers angle by disturbing the airflow, leading to a more stable delivery of downforce over a wider speed range.

Both of these additions are primarily used to give the driver more stability but will come at the expense of a small drag penalty. Meanwhile the rear wing upper flap's V groove was also reduced for Austria which will not only take advantage of the team using the upper Y100 winglet to garner more downforce but will lead to a slight increase in drag too.

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Whilst I'm trying to keep atop of the blog you may have noticed of late that there is less content appearing. For those of you that haven't realised, most of my work has now been moved over to Motorsport.com where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

I'm still doing the technical image gallery for each GP with the continued support of friend of the site Sutton Images. However, as always my time is limited and so this might not be updated as quickly as it once was, so keep checking back.

As some of you may have found out already I'm also working with the Missed Apex crew on their podcast from time-to-time, either doing race reviews or dedicated 'Tech Time' shows.

I've embedded the latest version of the podcast below and will update this a frequently as I appear. However, please head over to Itunes if you want it to appear in your player when episodes are available. The show is great to work on and has a great lineup of 'regulars' but has also enticed some bigger names recently too, with Will Buxton and Bradley Philpot on shows during the summer break.


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