Adrian Newey discusses the strategic decisions behind the RB20’s development for 2024, highlighting the balance between evolution and radical innovation.
Newey reveals Red Bull had to make a choice due to the dilemma posed by its RB20 for 2024. The designer of the racing cars explained that evolving the very solid foundation of the RB19 was tempting, but the team hesitated to make radical choices.
“It is a third evolution of the 2022 car,” Newey stated on the Talking Bull podcast. “Last year’s car was an evolution of the 2022 car, with the main points being the normal winter development in terms of aerodynamics, and some understanding of what we need to do with the suspension to try to improve the car.”
“We never reached the weight limit in 2022, and this year’s car is the third evolution of the original RB18. What we don’t know is whether this third evolution will be too conservative while others have done something different. We don’t know.”
“It’s tough, and you wonder whether to create a group to explore innovative ideas or to continue to develop the path we have taken. Our resources are limited – we can’t do everything, we can’t consider all possibilities, so we chose to develop what we have, and we hope it will be the prudent and correct decision.”
The RB17 road car will use banned F1 ideas
Newey is currently working on the Red Bull RB17, which is the firm’s first road car. It’s an extreme supercar concept, for which the engineer has reused Formula 1 ideas, including those that have been banned, like his active suspension from Williams, or the blown diffuser from the early 2010s.
“To achieve these performances, we have pulled out all the stops: it is equipped with a blown diffuser and active suspension. A blown diffuser uses the exhaust gases to increase the downforce generated at the back of the car.”
“The purpose of active suspension is to offer a very stable aerodynamic platform while keeping reasonable shock absorbers so as not to be thrown from one bump to another. It is far from being as stiff as a current Formula 1 car or a Le Mans car.”
“In a way, it’s amazing that this car, which is a two-seater, can produce this kind of performance. This has been possible thanks to the usual key parameters.
“As for weight, the car will weigh less than 900 kilos, which is much lighter than any normal road or track car. But at the same time, it will have a power of 1,000 horsepower. A naturally aspirated V10. The sound will be impressive.”
“But we also have a 200 horsepower electric motor that performs several functions. It’s obviously an additional 200 horsepower, but it also smoothens the torque, smoothens the gear shift, reverse gear, first gear.”
Asked whether he was considering ordering one for himself, Newey responded, “It’s quite possible that I might.”
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