First details of Red Bull’s 2023 challenger discovered

When a car is decidedly dominant, there is an unwritten but always respected rule that the next car will simply be an evolution of it.

The Red Bull RB18 undoubtedly represented the best interpretation of the 2022 F1 technical regulations, but also the one least affected by the ‘rule changes’ during the season (the implementation of technical guideline no. 39, which was enforced from the Belgian GP).

A clear feature of this car was the excellent control of the ‘porpoise’ phenomenon (aerodynamic jerks), which had resurfaced on F1 cars this season as a legacy of the ground effect single-seaters.

The aerodynamic features, in terms of the floor configuration for the RB18, along with the geometry and apparent simplicity of the front suspension, enabled the car to manage the effects the shocks produced. This virtually neutralized any bouncing often seen on the Ferrari or Mercedes.

To simplify the concept, there was almost a mechanical replica, in accordance with current technical regulations, of the effects obtained by the (prohibited) application of active suspensions.

The performance of the RB18, together with the Honda RA622H power unit, was based on the perfect integration between aerodynamic performance and vehicle dynamics. The factor that strongly linked these two elements was the car’s progressive weight saving as it passed the 798 kg limit at the start of the season.

The team of designers, led by Pierre Wache under the direct supervision of Adrian Newey, immediately felt that one of the factors capable of generating performance was the controlled management of the stiffness of the central part of the buttocks.

While it was extremely important that the lateral peripheral sections did not undergo deformation. This prevented the floor from forming an aerodynamic block with the very low ride heights, nor did it result in the airflow structure breaking under the car, which would have increased porpoise.

Over the course of 2022, the team has focused on weight reduction and on gradually renewing the floor. Handy to know that no less than sixteen versions of the floor have been produced, clearly not all of which can be distinguished by visible details.

The information gathered throughout the season, even in the face of little positive feedback, such as that of the debut of the floor introduced at Silverstone, enabled the engineering office to lay the groundwork for the RB19 – while retaining the same priorities that had characterized the development of the RB18.

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

The core of the RB19 project is the overall lightening of the car to immediately reach the minimum legal weight. The chassis in the lower and rear part will be formed to allow the partial housing of the cooling system.

Details of the RB19

Retaining a strong “family feel” with the previous car, next year’s challenger has followed two guidelines that will characterize its deep refresh. Weight reduction was the basis of the project’s initial objectives, already starting from the ideas, which were never realized when it was actually approved, of the lightened chassis, which had been much discussed over the summer.

The monocoque of the RB19 will be characterized by a lower weight compared to its predecessor of about three kilograms. The floor, driven by the new regulations where the “elbow” (the part that connects to the venturi channels) has been raised by 10mm and the side profile for the rear wheels has been raised by 15mm, will also be lighter than the previous one, while maintaining of a high degree of rigidity with regard to the shape of the sides, which will prevent deformation in the peripheral parts.

The gearbox housing and the arrangement of the suspension elements should be characterized by a lower constriction, increasing the cross-section of the lower Venturi channels.

In terms of aerodynamics at the top, the general layout of the sidepods, while maintaining strong contact points with the 2022 model, will be characterized by a refinement of the recesses under the sidepods, creating a ‘double floor’ effect . There will be an extension to the rear of these cutouts, at the base of the sidepods.

In terms of appearance, the RB19 should not surprise in terms of form, as the construction solutions and vehicle dynamics of the RB18 remain similar, but they will undergo a very profound evolution.

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

© Paolo Filisetti / RacingNews365

© Paolo Filisetti / RacingNews365

RB19 side view

The similarities between the 2023 single-seater (RB19) and the previous one will be noticeable. Featured in the image above is the profile of the channel under the sidepod, which will be more extreme towards the rear.

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

Sidepod intakes

The sidepods retain the characteristic shape of the square inlets with a lower lip that formed the anterior top edge of the bottom of the sidepod channel.

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

© RN365/Paolo Filisetti

Floor

As with the RB18 (see Silverstone evolution drawing), the floor forms the basis of the aerodynamic concept of the RB19. The areas of greatest intervention relate to the central area, after the reduction of flexibility allowed by the new rules, and in the elbow of the diffuser. According to rumors, engineers have managed to keep the weight of this element lower than the latest version in 2022.

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