Red Bull, Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing, the invincible force of Formula 1, introduced its first set of upgrades at the recently concluded Japanese Grand Prix. Despite stacking up the fastest modern-day ground effects machinery, the drink-based outfit felt the need for changes given the track conditions.

The Japanese Grand Prix was pushed early this season to avoid hot track temperature. However, with Max Verstappen witnessing brake heating issues in preceding Australian GP, Red Bull apparently pushed the limits of RB20 to further increase cooling whilst also increasing the aerodynamics flow suitable for Suzuka circuit.


Red Bull’s Advance Cooling Upgrades Sets New Bar For Rivals

Red Bull

Red Bull Racing faced a rare issue at the Australian GP after Max Verstappen retired the car due to excessive heating of the brakes. After his rear break caught fire, the team decided to abort Max’s race. However, for the Japanese Grand Prix, the drink-based outfit was prepared. Their season-first upgrade package was far more advanced than it appeared at first glance. A key aspect of the reconfigured inlet arrangement on the halo was to feed cool air to a smaller cooler mounted beside the power unit. The new inlet placing not only helped with inboard cooling but also moved the internal flow through the engine cover and sidepod bodywork. That makes sense since the sidepod’s upper and horizontal inlets were made slightly smaller than what the team used in the first three races of the season.

Besides the front work, Red Bull also pushed limits with its upper cooling arrangement. The outlet on the side of the engine cover was blanked off with the louvered panel above opened. This segmentation of sidepod and engine cover panels allows the team to be versatile and selective at each race. It also suggests that Japan GP’s configuration could return again, given that the track temperature remains remotely similar to that of Suzuka. Overall, the drink-based outfit put detailed work into the cooling arrangement to ensure Verstappen’s brake issues were resolved and helped increase the overall aerodynamic flow down the engine and side pods. Indeed, the upgrade package served its purpose as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez achieved a double podium finish, with the former leading the race with a huge gap to his teammate and the rest of the grid.

Max Verstappen Pinpoints How Red Bull Will Fall Into Trouble!

Max Verstappen, Red Bull

In an interesting take, Max Verstappen revealed that the rather unstoppable RB20 could struggle in street circuits this year. The Dutch driver cited history to back his claim. While Max appreciated the RB20’s improvement in low speed, street circuits require much more than that. “It’s drivability, kerb riding, riding, like, over the bumps. So, general ride of a car,” Verstappen said.

Max Verstappen further admitted that the unknowns of street circuits are a problem for Red Bull this year. Notably, the reigning F1 World Champion is not a big fan of street circuits, as they are unsuitable for a modern-day heavy challenger. Regardless, the team didn’t witness any issues on street tracks last season, and it’s highly unlikely things will be any different this year.

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