Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form – Motorsport.com

Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form - Motorsport.com

The world champion was in a class of his own at Spa-Francorchamps when he was fastest in qualifying and then charged from 14th on the grid to dominate the race.

The extent of Red Bull’s advantage in Belgium left rivals scratching their heads as the team was pretty evenly tied with Ferrari in pure rhythms for much of 2022.

But while theories of Red Bull profiting from the introduction of a lightweight chassis have been ruled out, the Milton Keynes-based squad have pointed to one element which seems to have played particularly into their hands.

With teams having to run at a higher ride height range at Spa, as cars can’t run too close to the ground as the compression at Eau Rouge risks the floors hitting the track, it meant some of the RB18’s strengths were exaggerated.

In particular, it seems that while Ferrari and Mercedes produce more downforce when running as close to the ground as possible, Red Bull can still reach peak levels when running higher.

That element, allied to his car being so strong on straight line speed, meant that Red Bull lost less by running higher, and it was in a different league at the Belgian circuit.

Team boss Christian Horner said: “I think this circuit played to our strengths. We have a very efficient car, we found a very good set-up. Max has just been in phenomenal form, from the first lap in P1. .”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, sets off sparks

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, sets off sparks

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

Responding to the rumors ahead of the weekend about Red Bull releasing a lightweight car, Horner said: “No, we haven’t brought it. And no we don’t have one … so no, it wasn’t a factor in the performance.

“I think a lot has been made and a lot of expectation has been placed on it [porpoising] TD, and it probably hurts others more than ourselves.

“But we haven’t really changed how we run the car. Obviously, landing here is always a problem because of Eau Rouge. But that’s not unique to us. That’s the same for every team.

“But I think we’ve seen that already this year we’ve run a higher ride height. Our philosophy is probably a little different than some of the others. Maybe we’ll get a TD for the next race that [says] us [have] must run much lower.”

Lightweight chassis

Although Horner rejected the idea of ​​Red Bull introducing a lightweight chassis for Spa, he was leery of the possibility of the team working on such a plan.

Red Bull fought against the minimum weight limit all season, but was able to make solid progress to get within a few kilos of where it ideally wanted to be.

When asked about the possibility of Red Bull bringing a lighter chassis in the next two or three races – with Singapore singled out as a possible spot to debut it – Horner was very careful with his words.

“There is no … these chassis will run for the next few races,” he said.

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