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Red Bull DRS Advantage

Red Bull’s DRS Edge Proves Unmatched in Jeddah

15/03/2024

In Jeddah, Red Bull’s DRS advantage shone, showcasing unmatched top speeds and a technical edge that rivals are keen to decode.

Jeddah has once again proven, thanks to its very high top speeds: Red Bull retains an advantage in this area, and its DRS effect remains the most powerful among the 10 teams.

This advantage, persisting since the RB19, has yet to be fully deciphered and replicated by the teams, even though it represents a potential gain of 4 tenths per qualification lap in Jeddah and much simpler races in terms of overtaking since it allows setting up the car with slightly more aerodynamic downforce to protect the tires.

Rival teams began to grasp what Red Bull was doing in mid-2023, the idea being to aerodynamically align the beam wing with the car’s floor. This reduces its capacity to generate downforce—or drag—therefore allowing for higher speeds.

Toward the season’s end, competitors started introducing their own enhancements aiming to mimic the concept, but Aston Martin’s performance director, Tom McCullough, elaborated on the fine line teams must tread to maximize the effect.

DRS Strategy: Red Bull’s Edge

“It’s a very good question, and really one for an aerodynamicist more than myself. For a base level of drag, upon DRS activation, there’s a lot to consider! The flap loading, the main wing loading, the interaction with the beam wing and the floor, the interaction with the entire body, the shape of the engine cover, cooling loss, and how you design your cooling system.”

“So hats off to Red Bull, they were very strong in this last year, and a lot of people have taken a good look at it, and we’re trying to find a solution where, when you hit the DRS button, you have much less drag, which we’ve been able to do to an extent.”

“We actually introduced some of these updates last year, and the rear wing we had on the car in Saudi Arabia is very similar to some of the wings we had on the car at the end of last year.”

“But the right interaction of the floor, cooling system, and Red Bull’s cooling vents still results in a greater advantage for them when they activate the DRS.”

“The bottom line? It’s a work in progress, for us and I guess for everyone else too.”

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