Formula 1 Racing

Forget DRS, Red Bull’s true F1 brilliance lies elsewhere

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Much of the focus around the RB19 has revolved around its top speed – and especially the way that its DRS delivers a straight-line advantage that rivals are nowhere near matching. 

There are numerous theories floating around about why the team’s DRS appears to be so effective – from it simply being a consequence of impressive aero efficiency on a low-drag wing package, to it coming from the result of complex stalling of the diffuser and rear wing elements. 

But while Red Bull’s DRS continues to provoke intrigue, rival teams are far from obsessing over what has been done in this specific area. 

Instead, there is a growing acceptance that Red Bull’s DRS gains are a consequence of brilliance in other aspects of its car design rather than being the trigger for its pace-setting performance. 

As Alpine technical director Matt Harman said when asked about there being anything particularly special standing out with the Red Bull DRS: “There’s a lot of talk about that visually, but I think if you actually dig through the data, I’m not so sure about that.  

“I think they’re very quick in a straight line just generally. So, from what we see, it is not something that we are looking to try and understand in great detail.” 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

What Red Bull’s rivals are homing in on, though, is the way that the RB19 is able to maintain its aero platform around a lap – which appears to be delivering gains in allowing the car to deliver consistent downforce for the drivers. 

Its anti-roll, anti-squat and anti-dive features are something that the opposition are looking to adopt themselves – once they can work out exactly how Red Bull is achieving it. 

“We have some ideas,” added Harman about where he felt the Red Bull was so good.  

“There’s some things we probably have no clue on, because there’s some things that we do they won’t have either. But their ability to run their car the way they do is quite impressive.  

“I think that’s certainly an inspiration to us all. So that’s where we’re moving towards.” 

Haas’s principal aerodynamicist Juan Molina said that having a perfectly consistent platform, as Red Bull appears able to deliver, can bring the kind of advantage that teams enjoyed in the active suspension days. 

“If you think about active suspension, and I’m not saying anybody has it, but if you had active suspension, then…

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