Red Bull’s chief technology officer Adrian Newey says the lower level of aerodynamic development the team is permitted for 2023 will not “make much difference” if they approach it correctly.
In addition to their $7 million fine for that violation, Red Bull’s allocated time and usage figures for wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) testing was reduced by a further 10%. They will therefore be permitted 63% of the baseline aerodynamic testing allocation, down from 70%, with 2022 runners-up Ferrari next lowest on 75%.
“The reduction of wind tunnel testing means we can therefore evaluate less different components, less different ideas,” said Newey in a video released by the team. “If we’re really smart and always put on the right things, on the model, then of course it doesn’t make much difference.”
The speed with which Red Bull can take new parts from CFD modelling to the wind tunnel model and then to the actual race car, and how accurately they simulate the gains they produce, will be crucial to how the team copes with the disadvantage of its reduced testing allocation. Rivals teams have pointed to Red Bull’s rapid and reactive rate of development as a strength of theirs.
The baseline figures provided by F1 is 400 hours of wind tunnel time over 320 runs, with no more than two runs taking place a day. Red Bull’s 2023 limit will be 50.4 hours with the tunnel operating at 54kph or above, with that development time having to be completed in less than 202 runs. The tunnel can only be used above 18kph twice a day, and each time it does it is considered one of the allocation of runs.
CFD usage is measured in Mega Allocation Unit hours (MAUh), and the baseline is six of those to test a limit of 2000 distinct three-dimensional parts. A full F1 car can be considered a single part, but changes to that design will constitute it being a new part (called a Restricted Aerodynamic Test Geometry in F1’s regulations). Following their penalty, Red Bull will be capped at 1,260 parts over 3.78 MAUh of CFD time.
Newey, whose designs have taken Red Bull to five constructors championships since 2010, predicts their 2022 rivals will put up stiffer competition next year.
“Ferrari won’t be resting,” he said. “They will be kind of sorting out where their weak areas. They had a couple of reliability problems, they obviously made a couple of pit wall mistakes. So they’ll be right back.
“Of course, you obviously saw Mercedes starting with a car that was quite a long way off the pace and evolving it to the point they won the last race but one. So we know they will be right there. So it’s going to be a tough year for sure.”
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26 comments on “Red Bull’s aero testing reduction ‘won’t make much difference if we’re really smart’”
14th December 2022, 14:10
And there we have it, the cat out of the bag and the assumption made by just about everyone, the penalty was not much of a penalty if one at all.
14th December 2022, 14:24
That is because they have Andrian Newey as he can select the area which needs to calculated so time isn’t wasted on runs they don’t need. This is why you need a guy who read aero without a computer.
14th December 2022, 16:46
@macleod It’s not even that – the ’23 car is 90% carried over with minimal changes outside of the floor height regs. As a result, the car was likely already pretty much done before the ruling came out. The only way this will matter is if the FIA introduce much more sweeping ‘third year’ reg changes and RBR cannot afford to do the development work alongside keeping the ’23 challenger competitive.
Adrian Newey understands aerodynamics and ground effect better than anyone else on the grid, but he still can’t design a competitive car if you only give him 2 blunt pencils and a dirty rubber…
14th December 2022, 20:52
Newey? He would chisel the pencil, blow the rubber fragments over it, and get his team to turn it in to CAD!
14th December 2022, 14:48
Of course it’s a penalty. He said that they’d usually test various parts to see which is the best and now they can’t. If (and that’s a big “if”) they make the right decisions and push ahead with the right ideas, it won’t make a big difference because they would have otherwise been testing other parts that would prove to be slower than the one they’ve selected.
The other teams can do this as well – they can come up with a single idea, push ahead with it and will have more time to develop and improve that part. If they choose to test multiple parts to see which one is faster, that’s their call.
It comes back to the old saying Hamilton fans said when Mercedes were dominant – it’s not the dominant team’s fault if the other teams aren’t doing a good enough job to keep up with them.
14th December 2022, 16:58
It is when the means of producing the dominance is to break the rules – you know, all that extra “catering” expenditure…
Those sandwiches seem to be more valuable than bitcoin.
15th December 2022, 9:43
It is the dominant’s team fault they’ve broke the rules and cheated though.
16th December 2022, 9:44
and therewith in line with the minimal overspend.
14th December 2022, 14:41
I have never thought that the gains from the overspend would be swamped by a petty drop in wind tunnel time. The gain in made and now its only tuning a fast car with peripheral developments.
14th December 2022, 14:50
I love how it’s assumed the overspend made Red Bull massively faster but the drop in wind tunnel time will make absolutely no difference at all. :D
14th December 2022, 16:10
But how can I be outraged if I must also use logic!?
14th December 2022, 16:17
“aerodynamic testing reduction ‘won’t make much difference if we’re really smart’”
Not an assumption and Newey’s words not something made up as usual by a commentator.
When 3 or 4 tenths is considered huge not much must be really small?
14th December 2022, 16:48
@andyfromsandy You need to work on your reading comprehension and move past your bias. What Newey is essentially saying is that they need to hope that their parts work correctly the first time because they will not have as much opportunity to actually test them in the wind tunnel.
14th December 2022, 17:00
“What Newey is essentially saying” is your opinion of what he means. I simply took what he said and copied it as a direct quote which requires no comprehension skills at all.
14th December 2022, 17:46
@andyfromsandy again, reading comprehension. If you read the article and put everything into context, you can deduce actual meaning. Here is the actual quote from this very same article:
Your “direct quote” is actually the title of the article, and is not meant to represent verbatim what a person has said. It is, in fact, only a fragment of the actual quote (above) in which you have placed all of your negative emotions and tried to pass as argument.
15th December 2022, 7:59
The word you are looking for is the IF we’re really smart …. IF means they can make a mistake and wasting time to improve things while they could those runs to improve development which they can much less.
14th December 2022, 15:04
“So in one season, we managed to break the rules and win the Driver’s championship with a car produced by an illegal overspend and then get the governing body to break the sport by permitting a win to stand in a race in which the race director changed the rules mid-event that made our guy win. I’d say that’s pretty good.”
14th December 2022, 16:47
These guys should be making the rules.
Always making FIA look like fools since those bending front wings no FIA tests could detect.
14th December 2022, 18:57
That’s exactly why FOM hired Ross Brawn and Nicolas Tombazis…
14th December 2022, 20:55
Who handed RB an even bigger advantage. On purpose, or as a fool?
14th December 2022, 17:03
So we got dupers’ delight on stage between MBS and Horner, and now we get it from Newey.
Sure, it’s us wearing the pointy hat.
14th December 2022, 20:28
You get your junior team to test out concepts, then you focus only on those that show promise.
Data on this doesn’t need to be shared officially, just rough idea of things they tried out. If they are nefarious, they could even steer things.
NS Biker (@rekibsn)
14th December 2022, 20:38
It is always fascinating the various responses to Newey as Chief Technical Guru for Red Bull and what his influence is. Some bashing and lots of respect.
The guy is brilliant, works like a demon and shows up at all the races with notebook in hand. Horner referred to him as “the most competitive person I know”. Mark Weber also had some interesting tales about Newey and car developments too. Whether the restrictions will be a problem or not, he is making the right noises and keeping his team motivated. Nothing to be gained by complaining.
Certainly all the other car designers are equally gifted and dedicated, but like drivers, there are some that can squeeze just that little bit more out of the puzzle. 2023 is going to be interesting and with luck, entertaining to the last lap.
14th December 2022, 20:59
“Newey, whose designs have taken Red Bull to five constructors championships since 2010”
That may be the total for RB but isn’t the half of it for Newey.
He really is getting to live his ‘youth’ over again with these ground effect rules. Thanks Ross.
15th December 2022, 9:59
It is interesting to hear Christian Horner himself admit that they got away with an insignificant punishment for the illegal overspend developing the car they have raced this season and last.
15th December 2022, 20:13
It’s almost like literally everyone knew that a reduction in wind tunnel time would be basically meaningless to Red Bull at this point. How some people actually believed that it was a significant enough punishment is beyond me.
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