Formula 1 Racing

Red Bull’s road car will match F1 lap times using tech it banned

Start, Sepang, 2017

In the round-up: Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey has revealed how their forthcoming road car will use innovations banned in Formula 1 to match the performance levels seen in the series.

In brief

Banned F1 technology key to “mind blowing” RB17

Newey said Red Bull’s forthcoming high performance road car will be “if driven by a professional driver, capable of a Formula 1 lap times.”

The car, named RB17, will sport technologies used on some of Newey’s most successful F1 cars, which were later banned by the series. “To achieve that [performance] we’ve pulled all the levers so it has a blown diffuser, active suspension too,” he told Red Bull’s official channel.

A blown diffuser uses exhaust gases to increase the downforce generated by the rear of the car. “The purpose of the active suspension is to give a very stable aerodynamic platform whilst maintaining reasonably sensible spring rates so that you don’t get thrown from bump to bump,” he explained. “Not nearly as stiff as a current Formula 1 car or a [Le Mans] car.”

“It’s kind of mind blowing in a way that this car, which is a two-seater, can produce that sort of performance,” he continued. “That’s really been achieved by the usual key parameters.

“Focusing on weight, it’ll be less than 900 kilos, much lighter than any normal road car or track car. But at the same time it will have 1,000 horsepower. V10, normally aspirated. That’ll sound awesome.

“But we then have a 200 horsepower electric motor and that fulfils a variety of functions. Obviously it’s an extra 200 horsepower, but it also smooths out the torque, smooths out the gearchange, provides reverse gear, first gear – you can move off the starter motor.”

Although the peak downforce generated will be limited to prevent excessive demands on its tyres, the RB17 will run on special rubber Red Bull has developed with Michelin. Asked whether he planned to order one for himself Newey said: “I may well do.”

Petronas deny report Malaysian GP will return

F1 last raced at Sepang in 2017

Mercedes’ title sponsor Petronas has denied a report it is pushing to bring the Malaysian Grand Prix back to the Sepang International Circuit. Petronas took over the naming rights to the track last year, but rejected claims it is seeking to revive the race, which last took place in 2017.

“Petronas refers to the news reports published on 31 January 2024 on the potential return of the Formula One Grand Prix to…

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