Red Bull F1’s major aerodynamic breakthrough due to fluke ‘accident’ in Milton Keynes factory

Red Bull has faced some reliability issues in the early part of the season, but it now appears like a freak “accident” helped the team eliminate its porpoising issue.

The new technical regulations has made it a challenge for almost every team on the grid to cope with porpoising.

The downforce this season is generated by aerodynamics under the car as opposed to the chassis, which was used in previous years.

This has hugely impacted the design of the cars and has therefore handed plenty of teams headaches at the start of the 2022 campaign.

The term porpoising has also been used to describe the motion of drivers in the car, who much like a porpoise, appear to oscillate between surfacing and submerging.

The drivers, of course, feel the physical brunt of it in the cars as they appear to bounce on the hard asphalt tracks.

How did Red Bull magically solve its porpoising problem?

Max Verstappen. Credit: planetf1.com

While updates to counter this are possible, teams need to be conscious of the budget cap that is stricter than ever before.

It has made big upgrades rarer and has been implemented to level the playing field between all teams.

Red Bull chose to upgrade the design of its sidepods, which now facilitate its aerodynamics. Auto Motor und Sport has speculated that this made the car seven-tenths of a second quicker as a result.

However, it has further been added that this was not an intentional move on the part of design head Adrian Newey.

The weight of the Red Bull car is the next matter of immediate concern.

The car is currently around 15 kg over the limit and the team is believed to be looking at all ways to shed any excess baggage on it.

Certain teams have even reverted to scraping paint off, even if it does only lead to minimal results.

“We are currently more than ten kilos heavier than Ferrari. In terms of lap time you are already talking about a loss of three tenths,” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said.

“The RB18 finished late, as we were in the title race right through to the end last year. 

“Updates are coming for the upcoming race at Imola and the Grand Prix’s after. Hopefully, we can get closer to Ferrari then.”

Was it really just a fluke?

Adrian Newey. Credit: hindustantimes.com

However, it may not be prudent to assume that it was all just a fluke from Red Bull.

Porpoising is a complex issue for teams and can’t simply be eliminated by raising the height of the car.

It takes thorough examination on the part of engineers and designers.

It is also worth considering the prowess of Adrian Newey, who is a genius in this line of work.

It may just be his modesty or unwillingness to reveal the key change made by the team to address the problem of porpoising.

He has been a key member in facilitating Max Verstappen’s maiden championship win last year and has been instrumental in that sense on eight other occasions with teams like Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.

With a genius that also has so much experience behind his belt, it seems naive to believe that he just accidentally rectified a problem that very few have been able to address till now.

Read more: Toto Wolff shuns Lewis Hamilton amidst lavish praise for personal favourite to lift F1 championship

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