Formula 1: The Red Bull secret of Spain

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Formula 1: The Red Bull tricks of Barcelona
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D as was a humiliation, a Slap in the face, a slap in the face. The fastest in training, Mark Webber, took 0.834 seconds from the fastest McLaren (Hamilton), 0.942 seconds from the fastest Ferrari (Alonso) and 1.299 seconds from the fastest Mercedes. Nico Rosberg was perplexed: 'In Shanghai I'm only four tenths behind the Red Bull, here in Barcelona it's a second more. Only a defect can stop this Red Bull.'

His team boss Ross Brawn tried to explain. 'Barcelona is a track where aerodynamic efficiency counts. That is clearly a strength of Red Bull. And this track rewards the qualities of a car disproportionately.' Then the mastermind goes into detail why Barcelona is the ideal territory for dark blue cars. 'They are incredibly stable in the fast corners. In turn nine they are miles ahead of everyone else. In addition, they have forgotten their weaknesses from the previous year. Red Bull does not lose any more time in the slow sections.'

Nobody can step on the gas as early as Webber and Vettel

This agrees with the statements of McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh: 'Here an aerodynamically efficient car pays the greatest dividend. Nobody can start from the medium-speed Turn on the gas as early as Vettel and Webber. ' Whitmarsh sees only one chance to defeat the cars of star designer Adrian Newey: 'You have to make a lot of mistakes and beat yourself.'

It is no great consolation that McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes are in the Renntrim will probably move much closer to the Red Bull. The fastest car in the field was not overtaken despite the competition's technology offensive, but the opposite is the case. Red Bull took the biggest step from the top teams. With a package of measures that you only recognize at second glance, but that is at least as extensive as the optically much more spectacular Mercedes package.

Last-minute update package for Red Bull

On Saturday, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also had to give up the secrecy that the team had been trying to use since Thursday, Nebel to throw. 'From the front bulkhead of the chassis, the car is practically new. The mechanics worked in the garage from Thursday to Friday until four in the morning to get all the new parts to the cars with starting numbers 5 and 6.

The cladding was from the side pods to theRear completely redesigned. It now drops more diagonally towards the side pods than before and is a little flatter at the rear. This allows an improved flow to the lower rear wing element and the top of the diffuser. The engine cover is now completely closed to reduce annoying air turbulence. This also optimizes the flow to the stern. To get the hot air out of the engine compartment, the hole at the end of the airbox, internally called the cannon barrel, was enlarged. This is the only place where the hot air escapes. It is the place where it is least disturbing. The side exiting exhaust moved slightly forward. This enabled chief designer Adrian Newey to enlarge the upper area of ​​the double diffuser one more time.

Underbody produced in record time

The lights at Red Bull have not gone out since the Chinese GP. 'The package was always planned for Barcelona,' says Horner, 'but it was incredibly tight. We produced the underbody in record time.'

It is interesting that the Red Bull more than any other of the soft Tires benefit. Mark Webber couldn't explain this phenomenon to himself: 'When we started with the hard tires here on Friday, we thought: We are really good at music. As soon as we had the soft things on for the first time, we flew. None I know why. Sometimes there are things in Formula 1 that cannot be explained. '

Robert Kubica can only explain it this way: 'In the first two qualifying laps, when many are still driving with the hard tires, the Red Bull drivers only drive 70 percent. They only have the soft tires their cards revealed. '

F-slot system in the Red Bull pipeline

Red Bull has postponed the development of the so-called F-slot to Istanbul. 'At the next race in Monte Carlo, top speed is not that important. That gives us two weeks more time to get the system ready for racing. We'd rather do it right than make a provisional solution.'

Whitmarsh sees the Red Bull's only vulnerability in top speed. If something goes wrong at the start, a safety car phase or a sudden rain shower messes up the order, then the Red Bulls have to get behind slower vehicles hire no matter how fast you are. On the home stretch, Webber and Vettel are missing nine km /h on the Ferrari and five km /h on the McLaren. As in Shanghai, the winners of the last race invested part of their theoretical top speed advantage in a steeper pitch for the rear wing.

Red Bull is getting even stronger

Michael Schumacher sees Red Bull's only weakness as a strength for the future: 'At some point they will also come with the F-slot. Then they will be even stronger.' Are you even allowed to dream of a World Cup title under the conditions? Schumacher's answer is stereotypical: 'Mecan only say: The season is still long. '

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