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Red Bull having problems: old or new version for Melbourne?

Red Bull technology update with problems
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T he competition breathes a sigh of relief. Red Bull has problems too. The last two days of testing were not made to measure for Red Bull. Head of Technology Adrian Newey and his colleagues would have liked to have made more kilometers with the new technology package in order to gather data and experience. But Mark Webber only got 70 laps on Saturday, Sebastian Vettel only 23 laps on the final day.

Modifications to the Red Bull usually work like a push of a button. The correlation between the wind tunnel and the racetrack is unique. This time the theoretical specifications do not seem to have been implemented in reality. Neither Mark Webber's five-lap turns nor the only endurance run over 13 laps gave the impression that the redesigned Red Bull RB8 was massively faster than the old one. 'When I watch Webber's long run on Saturday afternoon,' says an engineer from the competition, 'then it was nothing special. Neither in terms of the lap times nor the tire wear.' Webber started the section with a time of 1.29.646 minutes and he finished it with 1.32.269 minutes. We saw that better with the old specification.

Red Bull package calls for improvement

The observations made by the track spies reinforce the impression that Red Bull is involved in the new package still has to work. The unanimous comment: 'The Red Bull is no longer as precise on the road as it was before.' Mark Webber said after his last day at work: 'The car didn't feel very different from the days before.' That allows for two interpretations. One: it works. The other: It's no faster than the old version. But that was actually the goal. Vettel had to pass after his mini-program on Sunday: 'It would not be fair on my part to evaluate the upgrades. I drove too little for that. I have to rely on the data that Mark has collected.'

The fact that there are problems is also indicated by the fact that Vettel first went out on the last day with all kinds of measuring devices on the car. And then left the track at turn 4. Possibly a consequence of the car not obeying the driver's orders. The repair on the front wing and a subsequent gearbox damage cost a total of four hours. On a day when you wanted to run a packed test program for data analysis.

The competition suspects that the new exhaust position is the cause of theTrouble is. 'White spots on the duct behind the tailpipe show that the gases may not go where the Red Bull technicians want them to go,' notes an ex-engineer. The influence of the exhaust gases is even more difficult to simulate in the wind tunnel this year than last year. 'The gases spread more because the way to the destination is longer. Last year we were able to blow them precisely to the place where we wanted them,' explains Ross Brawn.

Red Bull either way fast

Who like McLaren and recently Red Bull too close to the rear tires blows, there is a risk that the tires will overheat. That also seemed to be one of the problems with Ferrari. The exhaust position gradually moved inwards. On the other hand, McLaren doesn't seem to have any difficulty with his solution. There the exhaust jet is aimed at the underbody, where a trimmer prevents it from hitting the rear tire. Red Bull has two of these flow straighteners on the underbody. Adrian Newey told auto motor und sport: 'I don't expect any problems with the exhaust.'

The last two days of testing leave the exciting question open as to which version Red Bull will be competing in Melbourne. Even if the wind tunnel data and simulations should speak of real progress, the confirmation on the racetrack is missing. Further simulations and data analyzes will not change this. It is quite possible that the world championship troop in Melbourne will have both aerodynamic configurations in their luggage. In Milton Keynes you don't have to worry about that. The original version of the RB8 was also a fast car. The unanimous opinion in the paddock is the fastest.


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