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Red Bull RB20 Test Zero Sidepod F1 with RB20

Red Bull Advances ‘No Sidepod’ Design for RB20

20/02/2024

Red Bull explores a Mercedes-inspired solution for the RB20, aiming to revolutionize its F1 car’s aerodynamics and cooling system.

Red Bull is set to test a solution similar to Mercedes’ approach in 2022 and 2023 for its brand-new F1 car, the RB20. Helmut Marko confirmed that the team has opted for an idea akin to that of the W15, a possibility considered during the unveiling.

Indeed, the cannon cooling system, those cooling tubes playing a role in aerodynamics, are as substantial as those on the 2023 Mercedes, leading to speculation about whether Red Bull would attempt to reduce the size of its sidepods. According to Marko, the team is indeed exploring a car moving in this direction.

“They were also convinced by the data from their no-sidepod concept, but in practice, it didn’t work at all,” the Austrian recalled about Mercedes. “We will now see during testing if we can successfully implement this solution, or let’s say a similar one.”

Red Bull’s Bold Evolution Towards 2024

Marko confirms that Red Bull would like to minimize the sidepods as much as possible, without going to the same extremes: “Adrian Newey has always been in favor of radiator-less cars. But of course, the engine manufacturers can’t do that. It’s logical.”

“While we’re not as extreme, our approach is aligned with the concept, signaling a shift that’s more transformative than mere evolution. This strategy represents a minor revolution, laying the groundwork for what will be implemented in 2024. Regarding simulation and wind tunnel testing, the results have been highly promising.”

From Marko’s comments, it appears there might be a test of a highly advanced solution over three days. There’s no doubt Red Bull will compare it with the presentation version of the RB20, with more conventional sidepods, though the air intake seems vertical and particularly close to the cockpit.

Red Bull RB20 Test Zero Sidepod F1 with RB20. Red Bull RB20 Test Zero Sidepod F1 with RB20

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